Afer Nine Years, IE6 Finally, Nearly, Almost, Just About Dead

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News Posted: Thu, Feb 11 2010 9:57 PM
Internet Explorer 6 may have taken its own sweet time to die given that the browser's security flaws are the stuff of legend, but it appears that the 'Net as a whole is finally ready to move on. While IE6 still accounts for up to 20 percent of the browser market according to some metrics, its share drops dramatically once Chinese users are filtered out of the equation (IE6 has an estimated 50 percent of the Chinese market.)

Consumers have moved away from Internet Explorer 6 for years—it did more to popularize the use of Firefox than Mozilla ever could. The enterprise segment is traditionally seen as resistant to shorter upgrade cycles, but new information indicates businesses have been upgrading to IE7 and IE8 much more readily than previously thought.



Big business use of the deprecated browser is now estimated in the single digits. Google recently announced it intends to stop supporting IE6 starting with Google Docs and Google Sites. Hopefully Google's decision will jolt the last of IE6's users towards an upgrade—any upgrade. IE6 use has dropped steadily for years, thanks to campaigns from Microsoft and other vendors to push customers away from it, the availability of IE7 and IE8 (IE8 having actually eclipsed IE7 at this point), and increased competition from the likes of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Opera, of course, is still bumping along with two percent of the market and, we imagine, a dartboard emblazoned with the faces of the original Firefox development team.
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3vi1 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 8:22 AM

I doubt the Exo stats, and any server-log stats we see, are anywhere near correct. This numbers may be close to accurate for home users, but they're surely not indicative of the complete picture.

I wouldn't be surprised if IE6 is not only not dead, but still has the largest browser share: There are entire corporations that are entrenched in IE6 and have not yet upgraded.

Here's why I think the numbers are incorrect: Large corporations like mine don't allow anything like the E.P.N clients internally. We're not in the business of exporting corporate statistics out to the Internet for the benefit of others. And, individuals can't run it on their own: The machines are locked down so that users cannot install their own software - everything must be pushed via packages.

Also, as any company with real security only allows outbound access via proxies, the entire corporation looks like one IP address to other entities gathering stats via external server logs.

I know my company has 10k+ instances of IE6 that register as one machine as far as these studies go... and the majority of vendors we see demoing products are also still running IE6.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 2:10 PM

yeah 3vi1 thats very true, and as far as corporate browsers go no browsers in general other Than IE and usually version 6 or 7 at best are what they allow. So as you say the numbers are most likely wrong and incredibly skewed because of this.

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Bighorse replied on Fri, Feb 12 2010 3:48 PM

I don't see IE6 going away anytime soon. I have noticed from work that some equipment and software still doesn't support IE7 OR IE8. And the cost to upgrade those pieces of hardware and software just is feasible. I think we will see a double digit share of IE6 until at least 2012, there is my psychic prediction for the day LOL( I know all)

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digitaldd replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 3:44 PM

The enterprise still has plenty of kludgey internal web apps that they paid a fortune for which still only work on IE6, these include Intranets, HR/expense reporting, and even CMS [Content Management Systems] for internal and external corporate sites. I hope they all get replaced sooner rather than later.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Feb 13 2010 7:06 PM

Yeah digital, it would seem M$ would work on something to allow coercive usage between the IE versions to me.

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Joel H replied on Sun, Feb 14 2010 2:16 PM

Did any of you read the article? Enterprise-specific studies indicate that a majority of corporations HAVE moved away from IE6. What you're basically saying is: "I don't like the way those numbers look, so they must be wrong."  No offense intended, but that's pretty incredibly arrogant. Sure, the numbers could be wrong. Alternatively, YOU could be wrong. That "you" is general; it goes for any person, including myself, in any situation.  Simply arguing with data because you don't like the data is stupid.

 

 

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Feb 16 2010 3:41 PM

Oh, we read it - we're simply stating that the source cited (and removed?) uses such a biased group and small sample size as to be worthless.  XPNet's data is based on just 21 thousand machines.  I just checked the latest numbers, and there are nearly 17,000 IE6 machines on my internal network alone.

Please don't call us stupid when other sources show IE6 as having the second largest percentage or users.  If IE6 is nearly dead, Firefox, Safari, and Opera must be rotting in the grave?

IE6 will drop off quickly in the corporate environments, but it will have to wait until lifecycles happen - and many companies have pushed those off due to the economy.  Until then, Dell and Lenovo seem perfectly fine with preloading XP/IE6 images for their larger customers.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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