Linked by David Adams on Thu 5th Aug 2010 19:45 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Internet Explorer The British government has rejected a call to dump Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), saying that it is saving taxpayers' money by staying with the nine-year-old browser.
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IE8
by TomF on Thu 5th Aug 2010 19:53 UTC
TomF
Member since:
2010-01-22

yes... and making it impossible for me to use the sites as even IE8 stumbles on them

Reply Score: 1

Doesn't make sense
by Stratoukos on Thu 5th Aug 2010 20:17 UTC
Stratoukos
Member since:
2009-02-11

Unless they are planning to stay with IE6 until the end of the universe, aren't they just postponing the eventual expenditure. At some point they will have to make the migration. Meanwhile, any costs from using a 9 year old browser (malware, productivity reduction etc) are pilling up.

What does make sense is to delay the migration until IE9 is out. If they where going to migrate anyway, why not wait for IE9 since it's just a few onths away?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Doesn't make sense
by ballmerlikesgoogle on Thu 5th Aug 2010 20:37 UTC in reply to "Doesn't make sense"
ballmerlikesgoogle Member since:
2009-10-23

The British government spent an enormous amount of money just to upgrade to Windows 2000. (Or maybe XP)

IE9 is not compatible with XP, only Vista SP2 and higher....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_9

Ouch....

Reply Score: 1

RE: Doesn't make sense
by Praxis on Thu 5th Aug 2010 20:43 UTC in reply to "Doesn't make sense"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Unless they are planning to stay with IE6 until the end of the universe, aren't they just postponing the eventual expenditure. At some point they will have to make the migration. Meanwhile, any costs from using a 9 year old browser (malware, productivity reduction etc) are pilling up.

What does make sense is to delay the migration until IE9 is out. If they where going to migrate anyway, why not wait for IE9 since it's just a few onths away?


That doesn't quite make sense either. The main pain of updating isn't the actual upgrade, thats easy enough though it can be time consuming.The real pain is updating all the third party and intranet software that they have built around ie6. That is probably a lot of software that is probably poorly documented and made by people that may no longer work at there. Upgrading all that will take a lot of work, but if they do it right and base it on standards rather than browser quirks they won't be stuck with any single browser like ie6 again.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Doesn't make sense
by Laurence on Fri 6th Aug 2010 08:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Doesn't make sense"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

That doesn't quite make sense either. The main pain of updating isn't the actual upgrade, thats easy enough though it can be time consuming.The real pain is updating all the third party and intranet software that they have built around ie6. That is probably a lot of software that is probably poorly documented and made by people that may no longer work at there. Upgrading all that will take a lot of work, but if they do it right and base it on standards rather than browser quirks they won't be stuck with any single browser like ie6 again.


But that shouldn't be an issue either as IE8 has a compatibility mode.

I work in local government but am lucky enough to have administration rights and I can safely say that both IE7 and IE8 run all of our Internet Explorer-specific sites with ease. So I'm a little worried about just how shoddily built the other clouds are that aren't expected to work with IE8's compatibility mode.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Doesn't make sense
by bert64 on Sun 8th Aug 2010 19:08 UTC in reply to "Doesn't make sense"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

They can't drop IE6 right away, far too many of their apps are completely locked in to it and a migration would be hugely expensive right now.

What they should be doing however, is making long term plans. While it might be expensive to replace existing applications, ensuring that future applications (and upgrades to existing ones) offer compatibility with all browsers is considerably cheaper.

They should be making plans to replace IE6 once all their other applications are cross browser compatibility, and at this point they should really be dumping IE entirely. No other browser vendor has ever pursued a strategy of locking users in, or caused such a large amount of lasting harm (as can be seen in this case).

The government should take a cautious long term approach, with the ultimate goal being to ensure that lock-in like this doesn't happen again.

Unfortunately, government IT projects are usually corrupt and incompetent, so i don't hold much hope that 10 years from now people will be saying the same thing about being locked to IE8...

Reply Score: 2

shitplorer
by xaeropower on Thu 5th Aug 2010 20:33 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

Since they already pay for the os they would get the new IEs for free so they are saving on staff by not letting their admins upgrade ie on the boxes.

Nice to see how gov say we spare monnies on this we spare monnies on that but what they dont spare money on is paying off their fatass worthless polititians vacations on the bahamas, their expensive cars and clothes and houses.

Edited 2010-08-05 20:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 5th Aug 2010 21:29 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Whenever I read that something will "save British taxpayers' money" I become furious.
Mr Blair found the money for a crazy war (Iraq) but cut funds for the disabled and the single parents.
If they want really to save money (in the long term) why don't they move to Linux? Sure, it will cost money right now, but it will save a lot in the future.

Reply Score: 8

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

You underestimate how tied they are to the big proprietary vendors - Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, ....

Reply Score: 5

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I am aware of that, alas. That is why I believe that all that talking of "saving taxpayers' money" is nothing but an old lie.

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You underestimate how tied they are to the big proprietary vendors - Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, ....

Spot on. Couldn't agree more.

I work in government and I see first hand how the real financial waste goes to unnecessary consultancy firms and support contracts.

Rather than employing in-house experts they pay Oracle, IBM and BT (to name but 3) to provide a worse service for ten times the price.

And what really makes my blood boil is when the high-level management are questioned about the expensive contracts, the only reason they can provide is because it offers them support for when things go wrong. They management are WRONG.

All we receive for our multi-million pound contracts are:
1/ experts who are unfamiliar with our infrastructure

2/ support taking 3 times longer (as in spite of the number of engineers on call, they are not dedicated to our business thus we do not get priority when the proverbial brown stuff hits the air-circulation devices)

3/ an inability to make our own customizations, configurations, installs, fixes, etc. So we're stuck in a position where we are now dependant on the incompetence of the expensive firms.

4/ and finally (and I think this is the crux of the matter for management) an easy way to deny responsibility for when things go wrong. (ie Management: "It's not our fault every teacher and social worker didn't get paid last month - Oracle didn't fix a P1 bug quickly enough")


Quite frankly, sometimes I think government enjoys getting raped by technology firms as high-level managers are not only ignorant to the processes they manage, but they seem to have a fear for technology and a fear of taking responsibility for their own organisation.

I swear to God, if I went public about some of the waste, they'd have a huge media scandal on their hands.

</rant>

P.S. I really should get a new job before the insanity of this place drives me to actions I'd later regret.

Reply Score: 5

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

I swear to God, if I went public about some of the waste, they'd have a huge media scandal on their hands.

You should. If there is one thing that will get the government to stop wasting money to corporations and cutting important programs to make up for it, it would be the public actually caring and being angry.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You should. If there is one thing that will get the government to stop wasting money to corporations and cutting important programs to make up for it, it would be the public actually caring and being angry.


I've been tempted in the past but I fear that the real people I'd hurt wouldn't be management (who will just quitely move to another well paid position), it would be the ground level staff who are underpaid and have families to feed.

Plus I risk killing any chances of progressing in my own career.

Edited 2010-08-06 15:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

"no one ever gets sacked for buying IBM"

Reply Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You underestimate how tied they are to the big proprietary vendors - Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, ....


I bet you, that IBM and maybe Oracle will gladly sell them a Linux based solution, if they ask...

Reply Score: 2

they are either dumb or lying
by project_2501 on Thu 5th Aug 2010 21:33 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

They are either dumb or lying.

The UK governments own policy and strategy states that you shouldn't build web apps or indeed any apes which unnecessarily tie you to a browser, client or device. But of course this doesn't happen and so they are left in a mess. If they did things properly, they could use any modern browser.

The reality is that they have had circles run round them by IT vendors with no challenge from "unintelligent customers" who have no expertise in what makes for a good, maintainable, long lasting IT.

They're lying about saving money. They're hiding their incompetence.

Reply Score: 5

RE: they are either dumb or lying
by Adurbe on Thu 5th Aug 2010 21:52 UTC in reply to "they are either dumb or lying"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course i saves money.. Have you ever worked with Gov IT projects?

As soon as you upgrade/change Anything you have to 'retrain' staff. You would be amazed how stubborn (petulant) some workers can be. Also, at the moment everything 'works'. If they upgrade then discover a multitude of council portals no longer render correctly, or some dodgy activeX implementation is to insecure, are these to be updated as well?

The UK gov will almost certainly hold out until XP comes to an end under the 'it works, well enough' concept.

At that point, it will be all change. Windows 7? Linux/Open Source OS*?


*Don't forget the Conservative (Main Party) 'digital manifesto' advocated greater use of open source software in local and national gov

Reply Score: 3

Comment by aaronb
by aaronb on Thu 5th Aug 2010 21:38 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it disappointing that departments within the UK government use an old, insecure version of IE. After all, some of the users using IE 6 will have access to large amounts of personally identifiable information.

Where possible the government should use open source software.

http://www.hmg.gov.uk/epetition-responses/petition-view.aspx?epref=...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by aaronb
by project_2501 on Thu 5th Aug 2010 22:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by aaronb"
project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

It will be interesting to see the outcome of these open disclosure requests:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/charles_taylor

Reply Score: 2

Citation Needed
by sorpigal on Fri 6th Aug 2010 10:22 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

I love that this story (more of a statement, really) is posted without any kind of links, citation of an authority which is capable of speaking on behalf of the UK government, or anything like that.

Is this your opinion? Did Tim from the corner shop tell you this? Did you read it in a respectable newspaper? Was there a statement from a government official? Was there a press release? Has any news service covered this?

tl;dr links or it didn't happen

Reply Score: 3

How are you saving tax payers money
by Windows Sucks on Fri 6th Aug 2010 12:31 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

If it costs you an arm and a leg to secure machines running IE6. If they are on XP they could go to 7 or 8 at least. Those browsers have tools to stop spear fishing and other forms of malware.

You could also be getting data stolen etc using IE6.

Just dumb.

Reply Score: 4

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Well, as long as we don't know their reasoning, there is no way we can understand it. That's where a link would have come in handy.
Yes, it looks very very dumb just thinking about the security issues. But I guess the decision hasn't been made by a bureaucrat, they've probably asked some "tech pundit" for some advice. That someone should be slapped in the face as many times as the number of IE6 installs still alive. Nice retribution for the advice.

Reply Score: 1