Wednesday, June 3, 2015

In which I revisit Internet Explorer 2015

I have written a number of things since October 2003 that have brought me personal pride, including my 2004 "Terrorism in the Skies" parody and my short story from 2011.

But if I had to name the one old post that merits repeated visits, it's a post that I wrote for my mrontemp blog in 2008 - Rant of the day - why YOU are to blame for the continuing use of Internet Explorer 6.0.

In short, I believed - and still do - that some technologists and marketers ignore the b2b world altogether, and think that it's just like consumer technology and marketing. The specific example that I cited was a person who passionately personed the barricades with this rally cry:

If all those folks using a version of any browser older than IE7 could just upgrade, get with the program and do their bit (it’s only a few moments to download and install and it doesn’t even insist on a legal copy of Windows these days!) then developers could concentrate on making great web applications using all the cool Ajax, Silverlight and Javascript features without having to worry about testing a load of different quirky behaviors.

As I noted at the time, I worked for a Fortune 500 company, and said Fortune 500 company dictated the use of IE6 to maintain compatibility with internal enterprise systems. In the enterprise world, you often can't install unauthorized software programs willy-nilly.

Four years later, I revealed that the then-unnamed Fortune 500 company was Motorola. Presumably Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility don't use Internet Explorer 6 any more in 2016, because no one uses Internet Explorer 6 these days. Right?

Umm...not exactly.

The New South Wales Baird government has finally come good on its promise to swing the axe on its unloved internal public sector technology and services provider ServiceFirst, announcing that what is left of its legacy workload will be carved-up between outsourcers Unisys and Infosys....

The junking of the in-house shared services play effectively ends an era in NSW where government agencies attempted to save money on technology and services procurement by consolidating their resources into a centralised provider that was usually outpaced and outpriced by competing private sector plays....

Outpaced? How?

The enduring backlog of some legacy systems in NSW has become near folklore in tech circles with some state public servants still stuck on browsers as old as Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) that was launched in 2001 and pre-dates Windows XP.

That's too much, even for me.

Although there are still advantages to IE6, even today. Especially today. In a private comment on this article about the "Stegosploit" hack, one of my friends said the following:

Well, at last there is something good to say about IE6. It's most likely not vulnerable to this, since it lacks the HTML5 support that this exploit requires.
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