We talk with enterprise customers every day who are trapped on IE6 because they have web applications that are too expensive or time-consuming to rewrite for IE8. For years they’ve stayed with the status quo (IE6 on Windows XP) because it worked and few external forces were pushing them to change. But now they’re evaluating migration options, including UniBrows, because they finally have a compelling Windows upgrade with Windows 7, not to mention facing the end of support by Microsoft for both XP and IE6 in 2014.
But losing support for XP and IE6, or missing out on the many benefits of Windows 7, are just a few of the downsides to staying on those old platforms. Increasingly these organizations and their end-users are missing out on the best of the new applications the web has to offer today because more and more sites are dropping support for IE6. Just this week 37signals “signaled” plans to stop allowing IE6 users to access its Basecamp collaboration solution because the cost to maintain support for IE6 is just too high for their web developers.
Posting on 37signals Basecamp forum
37signals is not alone. Web developers have been complaining for years that they typically spend 10% of their time building their site to work in standards-based browsers and 90% making that same site work in IE6. Clearly that’s not sustainable. In fact, many consumer sites, and enterprise software solutions, provide limited support for IE6, or none at all. Google is not shy about their lack of IE6 support, and neither is Microsoft with SharePoint 2010, as the screen captures below clearly indicate.
YouTube Homepage Graphic as seen in IE6
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Support Matrix on Technet
Enterprise customers find themselves stuck between the proverbial “rock and hard place”. They must stay on IE6 for their legacy apps, which means they can’t use the best new software and websites. If only there was a way to do both. Fortunately there is … and UniBrows is nearing its commercial release. There’s no longer a need for your organization to be stuck. Sign up for the UniBrows evaluation kit and get out from between that rock and hard place.
Having spent the better part of the last decade working with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team I am excited to see how far things have come with IE9. I started working with the IE team around the launch of Windows XP SP2 where the focus was all about security. Fast forward to 2011, and IE9 is all about standards and performance. IE9 is faster and more standards compliant than any other version of IE to date, and beats some of the other browsers as well. They’ve invested in more security improvements like ActiveX filtering. As a longtime member of the Online Trust Alliance, I applaud IE9’s efforts to go the extra mile and provide ‘Do Not Track’ mechanisms to enhance consumer privacy.
While the IE9 release should be met with great acclaim, its focus on developer and standards leaves enterprise customers facing another round of compatibility issues. Microsoft and IE aren’t directly to blame for any of this – they need to evolve the platform and build a browser that works in a modern Web. Other browser vendors aren’t immune to this issue either. We see problems between versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari. While those vendors evolve their products too, none are burdened to the extent Microsoft is with the ‘long tail’ of compatibility requirements. Having to support older operating systems and legacy extensibility designs doesn’t blend well with Microsoft’s effort to build a foundation for HTML5 and Web 2.0 applications.
Consumer sites like Google, MSN and Yahoo can take advantage of these great new capabilities to deliver rich experiences. But businesses run IE, and they focus on operations over experiences. Their ERP and CRM systems can’t break in the name of web standards. Line of business applications don’t magically ‘just work’ with IE’s Compatibility View. At the same time, desktop security shouldn’t suffer because of compatibility. Holding back the deployment of an updated browser can put an organization at risk. Older versions of software, whether a browser or an add-on, are generally less secure than their newest offerings, so there is a clear benefit in upgrading and staying current. Business customers need the ability to control their environments with a level of granularity that enables security AND compatibility, a solution that delivers performance AND stability. And they need to do this without having to become budget approval challenged.
Browsium calls that Web Application Continuity. We believe you should run your technical operations the way you want, not the way enterprise product vendors make you do it today. We think you should be able to upgrade one piece of your web platform without having to replace other pieces that are functioning perfectly. We know you can have the best of both worlds, and do not need to run complex and expensive virtualization solutions.
At Browsium we’re doing it today. With UniBrows we keep you running those older, legacy and insecure web applications alongside the latest and great versions without compromising security, performance or management. I invite you to sign up for our evaluation program to find out how we can give you the control you want – and need.
IE9 will eventually give way to IE10 and IE11. Browser platform progress is great for everyone … provided you’re in control of your software, instead of your software controlling you. Let Web Application Continuity put you in control so your end users can enjoy the best the web has to offer, with no compromises.
CEO & Founder