Internet Explorer 6 is one of the most hated web browsers in the world, or let me be harsh and say the truth: it is the most hated browser in the world. Why is Internet Explorer 6 still used despite being so vulnerable to security attacks? Most websites don’t even support IE6 and vice versa because it’s that old. Was it always this way? No. Internet Explorer 6 was a good browser in its days (according to some) – the bygone days of 2001 to 2006 ( when Internet Explorer 7 was released ). But even Motorola Razor was an awesome cell phone in the past. Would you use it now when you have better alternatives?
The recent attacks on Google used a security flaw in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8. Versions 7 and 8 prevent this exploit from working due to various security measures such as DEP and IE Protected Mode, while Internet Explorer 6 coupled with Windows XP make for a very dangerous combination. Think of it as using a see-through door with a broken lock. You’re not protected at all.
Internet Explorer 6 has almost always been insecure. There have been countless patches applied to it by Microsoft over the years, but think of it – every product has a limited lifetime and support. Affected users and companies blame Microsoft for the security issues but they don’t realize that they’re making Microsoft’s job harder. Internet Explorer 7/8 were the best fixes for IE6. Despite that, if users still stick to IE6, it’s like taking a 10-year-old medicine with known side effects. Think of it this way: the warranty period of IE6 expired years ago.
Ed Bott was right when he said that it’s time to stop using IE6. The statement would have been totally right, had it been said 4 or 5 years ago as well. If corporations have application compatibility issues with newer browsers, it’s about time they upgrade those applications and their browsers. The responsibility doesn’t lie in Microsoft’s hands alone. How long will Microsoft keep spending money and energy to fix a 9-year-old browser, that users, as well as web developers, hate so much?
Upgrade to IE8, Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari whichever you like, but don’t just blame Microsoft the next time you hear about an Internet Explorer 6 security flaw.
IE6: Internet ‘Expired’ Explorer 6.