If You’re Still Using IE6 You Are A Problem [Opinion]

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Our browsers can do a lot of stuff these days, from playing graphics-intensive games to showing cool effects to rendering video players made entirely out of HTML5. Not only can these browsers do whatever you can think of, but it’s easy to install them too.

However, there are still plenty of people out there that don’t know about that, or don’t even care what a browser is. All those people care about is knowing how to get to Facebook. Those same people tend to not install updates, and if they’re not big spenders on new computers they’re probably still using Windows XP. Windows XP without any updates means that IE6 is still being used.

In today’s highly-interactive digital world, that’s just not right. If you shudder just by looking at that old logo, you know exactly what I mean.

IE6 When It First Came Out

Don’t get me wrong, IE6 was great (keyword here being was). It was the best of the best when it came freshly squeezed out of Microsoft‘s software factory. Because of that it was able to achieve the record 95% browser market share at the height of IE’s reign. It could do things other browsers couldn’t, and it was right there in the operating system. The user didn’t have to do a thing. But that was then…

You’re Missing Out


Now, we have a completely different story. The internet and its standards has evolved. The browsers have evolved to keep up and/or push those standards forward. However, not all users followed suit, resulting in an extremely slow transition to something better (the speed of transition was almost barbaric, if I may say so). In the mean time, while browsers (including later versions of IE) advanced forward, IE6 obviously stayed still. Today’s browser can do so much more thanks to HTML5, so everyone still using IE6 is missing out on all of that.

Speaking of standards, IE6 doesn’t really follow them. Microsoft decided to loosely stick with the standards, so when Firefox was actually giving IE6 a pretty good fight, developers had the trouble of creating websites that would conform to IE6’s poor standards support and Firefox‘s high standards support. In the end it was almost like creating two separate websites. The world couldn’t keep going that way, and it eventually decided to follow standards.

You’re At Risk


Over time there were a lot of security exploits found, and now that Microsoft has long ago dropped support for both Windows XP and IE6, those holes aren’t going to be fixed anymore either. This should be a major concern as these holes are widely known by hackers and other evil-doers, so simply by staying with IE6 you’re putting yourself and your computer at risk. Additionally, there are plenty of other bugs still present in IE6 besides security holes, so by using IE6 you’re only going to get gray hair faster.

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It’s Slow


Finally, we all know that today’s browsers are constantly breaking speed records, and the difference in speed between one of them, like Google Chrome, and IE6 is ridiculously large. This is mainly because IE6 is technology from almost a decade ago, and although it might’ve seemed relatively fast back then, it certainly isn’t anymore. Save your sanity by using something else that is much speedier. It’s more gray hair you’ll prevent from appearing.

Conclusion

Simply short, IE6 needs to go away. Thankfully in the western world IE6’s market share has dropped to below 1%, but other parts of the world can’t say the same (in China it’s a 25% market share…really?) Hopefully these numbers will decrease even more so that the Internet can breathe a big sigh of relief that it doesn’t have to deal with IE6 anymore. If you’re using IE6, please switch. If you know someone who still uses IE6, please make them switch in whatever ways possible. Whether it’s by upgrading IE, switching browsers, or updating the entire operating system, you’re doing the world a favor.

Image Credits: atxryan, CannedTuna

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Comments (37)
  • Phil Young

    I still use IE6.
    For the longest time I could not afford highspeed in my area. I had to use dial-up because $10 was better than $60 per month just to get email. I also couldn’t justify waiting 6 to 10 hours hogging the phone line just to upgrade my browser.
    Now that I have highspeed, I prefer to use Chrome and Firefox, but I still keep IE6 for one reason. IE6 has native FTP.
    I have tried other FTP clients, but I prefer IE6.
    Sometimes I use IE6 just to test backward compatibility of some websites, but I have seen a bunch that don’t look quite right on any browser. (Sometimes, I use IE5, too.)

  • Ufoguy

    Even while IE 6 was widely used it was the first target of viruses and malware. They used to hijack the home page and insert popup ads. Even now IE sucks. Chrome is fast and Firefox has a lot of addons. Why go for IE. Many use it just because it is available by default.

  • WhatsMyIP

    As a webmaster, my disdain for IE goes well beyond IE6. I even have a (mostly symbolic) petition for MS to discontinue IE all together:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/discontinue-internet-explorer

    I actively block IE6 and IE7 from my newer sites. My current project even blocks IE8. Web technology cannot stand still any more, it has to grow freely, and that means growing without IE.

  • JerryP

    For the individual home user, this is dead on.

    But, a chunk of the 1% here (and probably the 25% in China) are from businesses that require niche software. The conflicting requirements of many of these packages make change too painful to deal with unless it is forced. For example, we had one vendor’s software that only ran on ie6, and another’s upgrade required ie8. We lucked out and the first vendor happened to come out with an update that allowed ie8, but that was by chance. And this was in the last year.

    It is amazing how much niche software will only run with one specific browser version, or one particular OS, or has a shared network component that can only be configured for one OS. And these are not always documented. A change made for one package can lead to failures in others, or can kill the ability of a key program to print to your 2 year old $25k printers, etc.

    Chrome, Netscape, Opera? For the small software vendor, you might as well ask for a Mandarin version. Most of these vendor packages don’t play nice with ie9 either.

    Penny-pinching or arbitrary internal I/T rules are not the only things that keep businesses on antiquated hardware and software. And unfortunately, you are likely to see some of those hanging on for years.

    Smaller businesses in an even smaller niche are even worse off as they simply lack the technical knowledge to even seek out modern alternatives (if any exist), and are too small to foot the bill for development and maintenance of a complete software package. So they keep whatever works alive as long as they possibly can. Forcing MS-Dos programs to run under W7-64bit is anything but fun, but for these businesses, it is that or losing whatever functionality that software provided.

  • Achraf52

    Always trying to install Chrome on my friends computer, which seem really like rocket science and they don’t care until they discover the speed they were missing .

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.