IE6 is probably the most dreaded piece of software on earth. Web developers don’t hate anything more than this silly browser full of security holes, bugs and not conforming to much web standards. Once heavily used, the market share for IE6 was almost 90% back in 2002 and 2003, however, with the introduction of new browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Opera, users started ditching Microsoft’s disastrous browser.
According to StatCounter, a free web analytics tool, the market share of IE6 in the US has fallen to 4.7% down from 11.5% a year ago. Similar stats resonate in the European market. These usage trends were identified by analyzing over 15 Billion page views in May 2010. The browser with larges market share currently is IE8, followed by Firefox 3.6 and IE7 respectively.
One large reason IE6 is taking so much time to become obsolete is the corporate users who are usually the last one to switch to a new software due to potential issues and related costs. Moreover, a lot of corporate tools that were built 5-6 years ago still don’t work with Firefox or latest versions of IE, leaving the users with no other choice than to hang on to the dreaded IE6. It is probably the only piece of software against which several online campaigns have taken place. Most of the large websites like YouTube have already dropped support for IE6 and ask you to use an alternate browser if you try to access using IE6.
We all love to hate IE6. It is an absolute mess for today’s AJAX powered websites. Though, this might not hold true in the corporate world where IE6 is still held in high esteem.
The corporate world uses a balanced combination of the flaws and popularity of IE6 to block popular social networking websites and keep its employees’ head in the game. Most companies deploy technologies like DNS poisoning and blacklisting to check access to websites but they are easily bypassed. However, using IE6 is the crudest and the most effective method by far. It can also cut down the costs on implementing a firewall.
Given the fact that most users are not allowed installing their own software on office computers, this has proven to be a full proof method, but only up until now. Now that IE6 has seen nine summers, the kill IE6 campaign is at its strongest. Very soon, this widespread usage of IE6 in companies might backfire with most official applications like email services (Gmail) moving to advanced unsupported features.
Google made the latest blow against IE6 by removing support for IE6 in its Google Reader service. Although, will not change much of the corporate scenario, it can bring about some changes for home PC users.
There is definitely something missing in Internet Explorer 7. When I’m using Firefox, Opera, and Chrome, I have gotten used to highlighting a word or phrase, then right clicking and choosing a search engine to look it up. I noticed that it was missing in IE7 the other day, and I immediately set forth on a quest to fix this fault.
It didn’t take long to find the answer. Once again, an old acquaintance, Ramesh Srinivasan, had a solution handy at his WinHelpOnline website. The right-click-search (or context menu search) is fairly easy to add. Just follow my instructions below. (This should work in IE6 and IE7, but may not work IE8.)
- Download Google.zip from WinHelpOnline.
- Right click on the zip file and Extract Allthe files to a folder. (the Windows Desktop is a good spot)
- Open the folder and copy google.htm to the C:\Windows\Web folder.
- Double click on the google.reg file and click Yesto add this information into the registry.
- The next time you open up Internet Explorer, you’ll now be able to right click on a highlighted word and search for it.
- An undo.regis included in the zip file, and you can run it if you want to remove the google search from your menu.
Wait! I’m not done with you yet. I can tell you how to add other search engines to the right click menu. I modified Ramesh’s code and created more search context actions. Thanks to Ramesh for permission to re-use his code.
Here are searches for:
To install these, just use the same instructions (2 through 6) above. Substitute the name of the site you are installing for google.
Note: IE8 already has a similar feature called accelerators. At this time, I don’t know how to write those.
Do you need any other websites added to this list? Let me know, when I have time I’ll add more.
Looks like IE6 has a lot of enemies which are looking to kill the 8 year old baby of Microsoft. A site called IE6 Funeral has cropped up on the interwebs, which claims that IE6 died on March 1st 2010 and its funeral will be held on March 4th 2010.
A message on the site IE6funeral.com says this:
Internet Explorer Six, resident of the interwebs for over 8 years, died the morning of March 1, 2010 in Mountain View, California, as a result of a workplace injury sustained at the headquarters of Google, Inc. Internet Explorer Six, known to friends and family as "IE6," is survived by son Internet Explorer Seven, and grand-daughter Internet Explorer Eight.
Funeral services for Internet Explorer Six will be held at 7pm on March 4 at Aten Design Group, 1629 Downing Street, Denver, CO 80218. Those unable to attend the funeral are asked to send flowers.
IE6 has been a subject of debate, some offensive, some defensive. However, this site goes way out to kill the poor browser. The site has been created by Alex Design Group who are a design company based out of Colorado.
So will you be attending the funeral of IE6 on March 4th?
Internet Explorer 6 has been a pain, not only for users who use it, but also for developers and website owners alike. In fact there have been many campaigns to abolish the worst browser which is still in
use existence (dinosaurs died, but no one could kill IE6, YET!!) for quite sometime.
However, those campaigns have not been as successful as people thought, and now larger websites have started to take a different approach, that of stopping support for Internet Explorer 6 and other unsafe browsers.
According to TidBits, YouTube is planning to drop support for Internet Explorer 6 on March 13th, along with Firefox 188.8.131.52 and lower versions on Mac OS X. Users who use unsupported browsers will start seeing an interstitial as shown in the screenshot above.
A YouTube FAQ says that even though Google will stop supporting older browsers, users who use them will still be able to watch videos, however, they will not be able to enjoy the latest technologies that YouTube engineers develop for other superior browsers. Also, this is the second product for which Google is officially dropping support for IE6. Earlier this month, Google also announced that they will be dropping IE6 from the list of browsers which will be supported by Gmail and Google Calendar.
This is definitely good news, as IE6 has become a pain and a thorn for developers and designers alike, and adds to the level of work one has to do as compared to the newer and far more superior browsers. However, in my opinion, it is high time that users switch from IE6 to a more powerful browser, for their own internet safety.
Huge players dropping support would at-least get users to switch to a better browser, not for the developers comfort, but at-least for their own security. Let’s get rid of this menace called IE6 once and for all. What do you think?
In case you have missed the recent buzz around IE6, there is a virtual campaign going on by web developers to kill IE6. According to them, IE6 is so much lacking in support and innovation that it should be replaced with other popular browsers such as IE8, Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
The latest blow to IE6 comes from Google ‘s social network Orkut, which has dropped support for IE6. Orkut is still more popular than Facebook in some parts of the world and this decision by Google would affect millions of users. If you try to login to Orkut using IE6 now, you will be prompted to use one of the other popular browsers.
This campaign about killing IE6 is gaining more and more momentum as web companies and networks are deciding to drop support for it. A number of websites have also popped up to make people aware of the Kill IE6 campaign, such as this and this. A lot of Twitter profile pics can also be seen having a Kill IE6 logo on them.
If you are looking to test your webpages in multiple versions of IE, including IE8 Beta 2, IE7, IE6 and IE5.5 we have a solution for you that works flawlessly in both Windows Vista and Windows XP. Sometime back we had mentioned about another such tool called IE Collections, but unfortunately it did not work in Windows Vista.
Related: Install Internet Explorer on Linux
Continue reading Test Webpages in IE8 Beta 2, IE7, IE6 and IE5.5 in Vista and XP