On IE6 and Windows Update

Once upon a time Internet Explorer’s ties to Windows and Microsoft were it’s biggest strength, but in retrospect, it may have been it’s biggest flaw. Numerous people now use FireFox, Opera, Chrome, and other browsers, but none of these have the single most glaring fault that Internet Explorer boasts about like a badge of honor… Windows Update. Firefox and others all update on their own, automatically, and independently (by default), and give the user little reason to disable this behavior. IE, by contrast, updates through Windows Update (I believe it’s actually been rebranded Microsoft Update now); a service which many people disable because of the risk of receiving updates which cripple their system (as the WGA check did to some people, even though their licenses were valid). This puts a large portion of IE users out of the reach of the update system, and further widens the chasm between each iteration of Internet Explorer.

The cost to us? Being forced to write pages for a browser so old that when it was first released, George W Bush had just recently become our new President, and was on vacation in preparation for what he expected to be two easy and uneventful terms. Not to mention the thousands, if not millions, of users who view the web with poor css implementation, poor png rendering, broken javascript support, etc etc. So now, with IE8’s release, developers are forced to write code for 3 Microsoft browsers which render content in wholly different ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that IE8 has at least taken some steps toward standards compliance, but it’s a single step in a journey of miles. It seems to me that the problem isn’t moving IE7 users to something better, the problem is moving IE6 users at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>