Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Aug 2009 22:06 UTC
Internet Explorer Let's continue the browser talk for a while. Let's move from the pinnacle of browsing, all the way down to the very drainage pit: Internet Explorer 6. To me, Internet Explorer 6 is that annoying zombie that just won't die that chops off 80 of your health in a grueling midnight Left 4 Dead expert session. Microsoft may not say so outright, but they seem to be implying they agree with me.
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Ahead of its time?
by malxau on Thu 13th Aug 2009 22:53 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

Am I the only one that finds the constant IE6-bashing on the Internet a little old? I mean, sure, an 8 year old browser is old. But when it was released, it was well ahead of its competition: consider that in Aug 2001, competing browsers were Netscape 6.1, Netscape 4.79, and Mozilla 0.9.2.1. This effect is even more pronounced going back to IE 5.0.

The fact that IE6 is in widespread usage reflects that, developer frustrations aside, for many users, it was/is a very good browser. Developing for Netscape 4.79 would be infinitely harder; it is not done today because IE6 is, well, better, so it survived much longer.

I'd even question whether the AJAX-based web we have today would have been possible if Microsoft had settled on "matching" Netscape 4.x rather than comprehensively raising the bar on it.

For me, IE6 will stay for a while, because it's the last version of IE that runs on NT 4, 98, and Windows 2000. For some users, upgrading to IE7/8 is not an option.

Also note that the oldest browser MS supports is IE 5.01 (the release that shipped with Windows 2000, which is still supported.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ahead of its time?
by google_ninja on Fri 14th Aug 2009 00:08 in reply to "Ahead of its time?"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Yeah, Thoms editorial reads like he wasn't actually using computers when XP came out. IE6 was fantastic compared to IE 5.5, which was a significant part of the reason why windows ME sucked so bad when it first came out.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Ahead of its time?
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 14th Aug 2009 06:14 in reply to "RE: Ahead of its time?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah, Thoms editorial reads like he wasn't actually using computers when XP came out.


...? This article is about IE6 *now*, not IE6 8 years ago.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Ahead of its time?
by Eddyspeeder on Fri 14th Aug 2009 22:49 in reply to "RE: Ahead of its time?"
Eddyspeeder Member since:
2006-05-10

Indeed, I even recall that with IE6.0, you were able to upgrade to 128-bit encryption, though you had to do that yourself somewhere.

Despite all my hassles with Windows XP in the pre-SP1 days (the very days that made me turn my back on Windows altogether), I actually found IE6 to be "better" than IE4.x or IE5. Sure, it had a slow loading time, but so did every other application. Sure it had leaks, but Windows Update was adequate at that time.

Of course, Microsoft has moved on after IE6, but I agree with the above author that IE6 was not "bad" or "evil". It was just another Microsoft product, that (just as Vista) is bashed and trampled in retrospect. Get over it and update your browser. Or switch.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Ahead of its time?
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 14th Aug 2009 02:57 in reply to "Ahead of its time?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

The fact that IE6 is in widespread usage reflects that, developer frustrations aside, for many users, it was/is a very good browser.

The market share of a product often has nothing, I repeat, NOTHING to do with the quality of that product. Add in the whole reason IE got popular to begin with, breaking antitrust laws by packing it in with an operating system that had/has a monopoly, and you get the point... it got where it was not by quality, but by piggybacking on Windows' monopoly. Using one monopoly to create another.

I say KILL IE 6. I don't get why Microsoft will upgrade the entire OS for a service pack, yet, when it comes to the browser... nooooo, that's a purely optional upgrade. Seriously, what the ****? Even Microsoft admitted (or was that just to thwart the judge to help with their antitrust lawsuit?) that IE is *part of Windows*. So why didn't they just ship upgrades as a part of the XP service packs? It would save those people's time who just want to be more secure (even if they never touch IE directly).

IE is the main reason I still don't think Microsoft cares about security as much as they say they do. Windows 7 is looking much better than XP at this point, though... but then, it thankfully comes with an up-to-date (and therefore, more secure) browser.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ahead of its time?
by sj87 on Fri 14th Aug 2009 05:11 in reply to "Ahead of its time?"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

The fact that IE6 is in widespread usage reflects that, developer frustrations aside, for many users, it was/is a very good browser. Developing for Netscape 4.79 would be infinitely harder; it is not done today because IE6 is, well, better, so it survived much longer.

It has survived to this day because stupid people keep on using it. My father used it for years and years. He said no point to change because it has worked in the past, too. I promoted Firefox to him. I made my own website that blocked all IEs and threw a link at him. He chose to install Firefox (after asking if it has viruses), visited my website, and went back to IE.

He did not even want to install a Firefox to my granny's new computer. "Because your grandmother has used IE6 before." The machine had IE7 come with updates. He claimed it's much more IE6-alike than Firefox is. Pretty much proves how much the name of the product means instead of the product.

Luckily, the IE7 was all crap on that machine. It crashed when it needed to load a certain plugin. I told him I won't fix it, because it's Internet Explorer. So he installed a Firefox for my granny. She never complained. She had so little experience of computers she didn't have any ties to any browser. It's all just pressing back and forward buttons and clicking links. She had previously switched to Thunderbird (the mail app) because I broke up Outlook Express. No complaints there either.

I recently visited my dad's place and found out he has switched to Firefox at least on his second PC. Progress comes slow but steadily.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Ahead of its time?
by werpu on Fri 14th Aug 2009 07:13 in reply to "Ahead of its time?"
werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

Am I the only one that finds the constant IE6-bashing on the Internet a little old? I mean, sure, an 8 year old browser is old. But when it was released, it was well ahead of its competition: consider that in Aug 2001, competing browsers were Netscape 6.1, Netscape 4.79, and Mozilla 0.9.2.1. This effect is even more pronounced going back to IE 5.0.
[/q
Oh well yes I agree and Britney Spears rose to stardom and tanked her career while IE6 persisted.
Times move on, IE6 was good at its time, but nowadays it is a costly bug ridden piece of software you are forced to support with lots of extra time which is hardly to justify anymore!
It is like having to support windows 98 while having to use the latest directx stuff and having to backport everything from DirectX10 because the users insist of having the same graphics on their windows 98 machines!



[q]
The fact that IE6 is in widespread usage reflects that, developer frustrations aside, for many users, it was/is a very good browser. Developing for Netscape 4.79 would be infinitely harder; it is not done today because IE6 is, well, better, so it survived much longer.


Guess what, many users simply do not care they just want a working interface, for them even ie 5.5 worked as well, they have their gripes however with the braindead UI of ie7+.
The users do not care about engines and what they can do, they just want to surf the web, and while we are at it, the want the latest shiny things mostly running on their stone old browsers!

Things move on and I am glad that big sites slowly but surely give users a smack on their head to update their browsers.

I personally think that IE6 is on its way out the browser statistics clearly show it, in some areas it already is below 10% and that is the critical threshold public sites slowly start to phase out browser support it becomes to costly to maintain.
You already can see it with the warning signs already popping up in even big sites.
Those who have to stick to IE6 will either have to additionally install Firefox or Opera, or will have a rough time ahead. Not that they will loose content, but they will wonder why the internet does not work like it used to do (user terms for browsing)

Reply Parent Score: 2