A feature story today on the UK IT website ComputerWeekly highlighted Avis Europe’s migration from Windows XP to Windows 7. Avis is using UniBrows to keep their IE6-dependent applications working as they upgrade to Windows 7 with IE8.
As the article says, Avis was stuck until they found a solution for their critical business applications:
Given the 2014 time bomb on XP support, David Beshaw, head of IT operations at Avis Europe, did not want to be stuck on an unsupported operating system. But IE6 will not run directly on Windows 7, so to upgrade the OS, he needed a way to support the legacy applications and websites that Avis uses to operate its business.
The article goes on to describe why Avis chose Browsium as their technology partner for this critical project:
Avis selected Browsium’s UniBrows compatibility product to keep its IE6 applications running in Windows 7. “Browsium allows us to move to Windows 7 without going to a far bigger project to go into virtualisation,” says Beshaw.
Those a just a few highlights from this great success story. Read the complete article on the ComputerWeekly website.
Earlier this week there were a number of blog posts about how Volkswagon is not only still using IE6 internally, but requiring IE6 compatibility for some of their web applications used by outside suppliers and vendors. This had all the web developers scratching their heads to determine if that meant they also still needed to support IE6 on their public-facing websites or whether it was just an internal-to-the-enterprise problem.
Our perspective has long been that IE6 does still matter on the web because those users do access public websites, though at not nearly the rate of the average consumer who has surely upgraded to a more modern browser (be it IE8 or 9, Firefox or Chrome). In fact we’re seeing the public IE6 usage stats, published by Net Applications and others, dropping much faster than the rate of enterprise migration off IE6. So that seems to imply that the holdouts on IE6 (still numbering over 150M worldwide) are more and more only using their old browser for internal applications — or in the case of Volkswagon, to access extranet sites for a specific line-of-business application.
Given the interest in UniBrows, particularly in verticals like banking, healthcare, and government, enterprises are clearly motivated to make a change. They don’t like being trapped on IE6 any more than web developers like hacking up their own websites to support IE6 users. But that change will take years due to the size the problem (it’s massive) and the time it takes to reach all of these customers with our solution.
So if you’re an IT pro running IE6 as the standard browser in your organization, it’s time to give us a call to get you moving up to IE8 or IE9. And if you’re a web developer, check your stats often. If IE6 usage falls below your threshold, cut off support for them. You’ll be giving enterprise IT yet another reason to move off IE6 even more quickly. We’re happy to have that business.
In the classic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there’s a famously funny (albeit disturbing) scene where the dead are being loaded on a cart and one older gentleman is trying to convince the dead collectors that he’s “not dead yet”.
It seems that IE6 is in the same predicament. Microsoft has made some noise about killing off IE6 (or at least they’re effectively tracking its slow death) and web developers everywhere are more than ready to toss it on the cart. In fact, many have already made the decision to not support IE6 at all on new sites and barely maintain support for it on existing ones. But like it or not, IE6 is alive and well in enterprise (okay, that’s a stretch, it has a pulse) and being used by thousands of large organizations to access hundreds of thousands of applications from millions of desktops and laptops. These users also use the web, but they’re far less likely to be frequenting the public sites that drive the bulk of browser share statistics reports that we see each month. Instead they’re hitting their internal legacy Siebel, Hyperion, or SAP applications or some homegrown application implemented by their IT department a decade ago. Because of this, the IE6 share numbers that get published each month are likely to underrepresent IE6 usage overall – by a substantial amount.
As it is, IE6 share is still dangerously close to 10% worldwide and it’s estimated to be running on 50-100 million PCs in the enterprise – in both public and private sector organizations. If you’re a web developer for a consumer-facing site, is it safe to ignore IE6? Probably. These users are not hitting your sites much from work, and are likely using a modern browser when they surf the web at home. But if you’re an IT pro, you can’t ignore IE6 any longer. You must take action to upgrade your users to a modern browser. IE6 is blocking your migration to Windows 7 and blocking new applications you need to deploy that won’t work with IE6. Fortunately there’s an easy way out of this and it’s called UniBrows. Try it out for free today, or contact us about a UniBrows JumpStart where we come onsite and get a few of your mission-critical applications working in IE8 or IE9 in just a few short days.