No10 e-petition on abandoning IE6

I’ve happily signed the e-petition on the Downing Street website calling on the Prime Minister to ‘encourage government departments to upgrade away from Internet Explorer 6.’
I’ve written on this subject before; and I know the huge headache it would be to alter in-house applications built for IE6 alone (although that’s another story altogether).
I note the petitioner’s failure to mention the government-backed Get Safe Online initiative, which explicitly recommends upgrading. So when he says ‘(The French and German) governments have let their populations know that an upgrade will keep them safer online. We should follow them.’ – I know he’s wrong. And I’m not sure I buy his suggestion that ‘When the UK government does this, most of Europe will follow. That will create some pressure on the US to do so too.’
But that’s all beside the point. If we can use this petition as some kind of leverage, I’m prepared to overlook its deficiencies. And with nearly 5,000 signatures in a couple of days, and front-page coverage from the BBC, we have a platform on which to build.


The latest browser market share numbers show that finally, IE6 has been deposed as the world’s #1 browser. And in the last few days, Google has announced that its Apps will be phasing out IE6 support, becoming the latest big name to say enough is enough.
It’s time to put IE6 out of our misery. Sign the petition.

5 thoughts on “No10 e-petition on abandoning IE6”

  1. While I agree with the petition (especially working for one of the departments in question), Googles stance on this worries me in that the are now determining what browser a customer can and can’t use, not based on volume of use (if it was, they should be dropping support for everything but IE8 and Firefox – including Chrome ironically), but because its ‘too difficult’ for them to code around it. Presumably we are only a couple of years away from them only supporting Chrome, as that will be the only one to do things the way that they want.
    As this petition shows, it is largely people not in control of their browsers using IE6, and at a time when budgets are looking to be cut especially in the public sector, I would rather have IE6 and a pay rise than IE7/8 and no pay rise.

  2. PaulJ wrote – “at a time when budgets are looking to be cut especially in the public sector, I would rather have IE6 and a pay rise than IE7/8 and no pay rise.”
    I’m not sure how upgrading to IE 7 or 8 would affect anyone’s pay as both browsers are free.

  3. Jenny McDermott wrote – “I’m not sure how upgrading to IE 7 or 8 would affect anyone’s pay as both browsers are free.”
    Obviously the cost of rollout itself is slight, as it could be pushed via Windows update in most cases, however I really ment the cost of testing and changing existing internal web-based systems, which whether right or wrong, only work in IE6 currently.

  4. To which the answer, as you well know Paul, is ‘wrong’. 🙂
    I don’t think it’s right to see this purely as a financial thing: but that’s how some (many?) people work, so let’s do that for a moment. Of course there’s an associated cost in upgrading. But there’s a cost, potentially huge, in not upgrading. Put bluntly, you don’t want to be the department whose entire network gets compromised by an IE6 vulnerability.
    IE6 security holes

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