Google to phase out support for IE6

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Internet Explorer 6 logoFrom the 1st of March 2010 Google are to phase out support for Internet explorer 6 (IE6), the so called weak link in recent cyber attacks that compromised Google itself.¬† Google threatened to withdraw from the Chinese market following the “sophisticated and targeted” attacks, which originated in China; recently reported on the BBC website.

Following Google’s revelations the French and German governments advised users not to use the out of date browser and recommended to upgrade to a later version as soon as possible. We have recommended upgrading IE6 to all our clients for a long time now, but the reality is that some firms have not bothered or do not have the access to roll this out. If you are reading this in IE6 we would strongly recommend upgrading IE6 now, or better still try downloading Firefox,¬†Apple’s Safari, Googles Chrome or even Opera; which are safe, fast and have intuitive interfaces.

Google have said there will be no more support for their online software beginning with Google Docs and Google Sites which may no longer work on IE6. This also applies to the popular website YouTube. In quick response Microsoft released a patch 3 weeks ahead of its regular security update which is unusual.

In a twist, on the 2nd of February a petition was released on the governments’ website calling to drop IE6 and move the latest IE browser. The petition says that IE6 has security flaws and uses outdated technology, creating a burden for developers. Since there are limitations to what will work on IE6 the web developing industry have been restricted in the use of new website technology which they still have to test and support since there are 20% of online users still using the outdated version. Other government departments and many firms still use the old browser, which was first released in 2001.

“Most creative and software development companies are forced by government department clients to build websites for IE6 when most of the industry has moved on,” the petition reads.

“Upgrading would be a massive task for government, but if the public is encouraged to lead the way and the government follows, that would create the momentum needed.”

The petition was set up by Dan Frydman of web firm Inigo.

It seems our long wait for IE6 to be abandoned may almost be over and we can start doing our job… even better.


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