Internet Explorer 6 is AWESOME!

Standards

Daniel Miessler

The absolute worst browser when it comes to supporting the standards is Internet Explorer.

The Internet works for one simple reason – everything at its core has been built on agreements that bind it together. Whether a computer is connected from California or Sri Lanka, it’s going to speak the same language and obey the same rules – the rules defined by standards. If this weren’t the case there would be no Internet at all.

The designers of Internet Explorer have purposely turned their back on the standards designed to benefit the Internet as a whole. They have done this for years, continue to do it today, and appear to have nothing but their own interests at heart.

http://dmiessler.com/writing/dumpie/

Free the Web

IE6 is the bane of every web developer’s life. Released in 2001, IE6 fails to even properly support the CSS 1.0 standard from 1996.

Internet Explorer 6 is holding back the future.

Supporting IE6 prevents us from using cool new features, standard with up to date browsers. This erodes user-experience for everyone. Additionally, the hacks and workarounds that web developers are forced to use degrades their code, and this limits progress in other areas. Above all it’s simply a waste of millions of hours of human potential.

http://www.free-the-web.com/

Security

Daniel Miessler

What makes other browsers better than IE at protecting vs. spyware and other attacks? Well, it’s simple really – most other browsers don’t make it so easy to install malicious software on your system without you knowing about it. IE makes it relatively trivial through two features called ActiveX and Active Scripting. These technologies were designed specifically for the purpose of giving Web sites more control over a user’s computer. Unfortunately, as we have seen with exploit after exploit – that’s not always a good thing.

http://dmiessler.com/writing/dumpie/

Bruce Schneier – Security Expert

This study is from August, but I missed it. The researchers tracked three browsers (MSIE, Firefox, Opera) in 2004 and counted which days they were “known unsafe.” Their definition of “known unsafe”: a remotely exploitable security vulnerability had been publicly announced and no patch was yet available.

MSIE was 98% unsafe. There were only 7 days in 2004 without an unpatched publicly disclosed security hole.

Firefox was 15% unsafe. There were 56 days with an unpatched publicly disclosed security hole. 30 of those days were a Mac hole that only affected Mac users. Windows Firefox was 7% unsafe.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/12/internet_explor.html

PC World

In 2006, citing its lack of security, PC World magazine named Internet Explorer 6 number 8 on their list of the “25 worst tech products of all time”.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/125772-3/the_25_worst_tech_products_of_all_time.html

Current

Just recently, A major flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that allows hackers to gain the password details of the user was revealed.

This is not a rumor, it was confirmed by Microsoft who in fact announced the discovery themselves admitting a “vulnerability in Internet Explorer” that “could allow remote code execution.” Not Good.

http://thenextweb.com/2008/12/16/dump-internet-explorer-at-least-for-now/

Market Share

These stats are accurate to anyones guess, bost most claim google as a source.  This is an averaging of the best sources I could find.  (w3c puts firefox at 44%, I didn’t use them because that seemed way out of line with all other sources)

  • IE7 – 47.32%
  • Firefox: 21%
  • IE6 – 19.21%
  • Safari – 8%
  • Chrome/Opera – 2%

Conclusion

It is becoming more and more clear that, as some of our quoted authors have suggested, IE6 is severely impeding the progress of the web as a whole.  You could say this of any inferior or outdated browser but IE6 is the only one still widely used, and the cause of its continued widespread use is uneducated users.  They remain uneducated because they are unaware of the inherent security risks in IE6 due to a tight integration with the Windows operating system and exploitable access to ActiveX controls.

IE6 is not only an incredible time sink and headache for developers, it is a danger to consumers as well.

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