Internet Explorer 6 is out of date. There’s no question of that, as Microsoft has now moved on to IE8. It has its critics, some of whom have even campaigned online against it. But some 15-20% of people still use IE6 as their browser, according to figures.
And Microsoft is standing by it. The company has said it will continue support for it until 2014. But it evidently wasn’t an easy decision, even for staff, as Amy Barzdukas, Microsoft’s general manager for Internet Explorer, told journalists in San Francisco:
"If you are in my social set and I have been to your house for dinner, you are not using IE6. But it is much more complicated when you move into a business setting."
"It’s hard to be cavalier in this economy and say ‘oh it’s been around for so long they need to upgrade.’"
A group of around 70 developers has formed a project called ie6nomore, which says:
"Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released in late 2001. For its time, it was a decent browser, but in 2009, it is still in use by a significant portion of the web population, and its time is now up."
Although Microsoft would obviously prefer people to upgrade, they realize that’s not always possible. Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for the browser group, wrote in a blog:
"Many PCs don’t belong to individual enthusiasts, but to organizations. The backdrop might be a factory floor or hospital ward or school lab or government organization, each with its own business applications."
"Dropping support for IE6 is not an option because we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product."