Microsoft should release IE6 as a single-site browser

Internet Explorer 6 is still out there. In large numbers.

Often the reason given is that the corporate sector is tied to it through intranets and other applications that rely on it.

So, why not release IE6 as a single-site browser (SSB), like Mozilla’s Prism for example?

  1. Corporates can run their intranets via the IE6 SSB
  2. The general-use browser can then be updated to the latest version (IE8), which has to make security easier for their IT department
  3. Microsoft can then officially drop support for IE6, and only need to support the SSB in its corporate environment
  4. The rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief as we watch IE6 usage fall rapidly!

It seems like a simple solution to me, but perhaps it’s not that simple. Otherwise Microsoft would have done it already. Yes?

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No right answers for IE8

There has been quite a lot said recently about Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). Should it default to “standards mode”? Or default to “IE7 mode”?

But Joel on Software has put things into perspective: Neither side is right, and neither side is wrong. Because there is really no right answer here.

It’s a long read, but worthwhile if you’ve been following the debate. It also add some understanding as why Vista is so plagued. (And yes, I’m one of those who has gone back to Windows XP)

Before reading Joel’s article I didn’t really have an opinion on what IE8 should default to. At least now I can say that maybe having no opinion is the right one!

If things stay as they are, we may all have a lot of work to do – going back and fixing old sites. Grrr.

The saving grace in my case might be the use of very specific stylesheets for Internet Explorer. We have used a conditional comment to call a stylesheet for IE6, another one for IE7, so IE8 shouldn’t read either of these – and just worry about the main stylesheet designed for Firefox etc.

I hope. I’ll have to check…