Thursday, July 09, 2009

IE6 will die a long, horrible (for us) death

Or, further evidence that PPK knows his shit.

A short while ago, PPK (of indispensable QuirksMode fame) wrote a post entitled "State of the Browsers - IE edition" which you should have read by now. If not, go fucking read it.
"Recently I held a presentation at a local Microsoft conference in the Netherlands. Slides are here. Fanatical followers will recognise most of the topics I discussed from earlier slide shows, but the last one, about the changes to the market share of IE6, 7, and 8, is new.

Basically, IE6 will continue to exist when IE7 has all but disappeared, and, contrary to what you might expect, this situation will create exciting opportunities for Microsoft’s competitors.

Besides, last week the news came that Microsoft is going to voluntarily de-bundle IE from all Windows 7 machines that will be sold in Europe, and I continue to have my doubts about that affair.

So it’s time for a special State of the Browsers IE edition."
Make sure you read the entire thing, don't just skim the fucking thing and come back here.

Now, what he wrote should make complete sense, even if you didn't want to hear much of it. Who wants to admit that IE6, the shit-stained cockroach of a browser, will likely last longer than IE7?

Confirming this, a recent post on Digg looks deeper into the usage of Digg by users still stuck with IE6 and why the fuck they don't use something else. Turns out, most of them can't use something else. According to their poll, some 70% of IE6 users who participated say their job won't let them use something sane (either by direct denial or by blocking admin access).

Around the same time as the poll, it came to light that Orange UK not only instructs their employees to only use IE6, but it outright fucking threatens them with a £250 fine if they find Firefox on their work machine, even though Firefox helps them work more efficiently. This not only follows in the my-ignorant-fucking-company-won't-let-me-upgrade vein, but also the fuck-you-I'll-get-something-even-better.

The best of all (so far, I have no fucking doubt in my mind that others will continue to follow suit) comes from the United States government, where State Department workers asked Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, if they could use Firefox instead of IE. In fact, they couldn't believe they even had to bother asking in the first place:
MS. GREENBERG: Okay. Our next question comes from Jim Finkle:

Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox? I just – (applause) – I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn't use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don't understand why State can't use it. It's a much safer program. Thank you. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, apparently, there's a lot of support for this suggestion. (Laughter.) I don't know the answer. Pat, do you know the answer? (Laughter.)

UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: The answer is at the moment, it's an expense question. We can --

QUESTION: It's free. (Laughter.)
Update: Tom Watson, a UK MP, has joined in, questioning various government departments of their plans (or lack thereof) to move from IE6 to something not quite so fucking old and decrepit. Side note: one government department, which has at least started thinking about the move, wins the department naming contest: NOMS.

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