Internet Explorer 6 Unloved andUnlamented

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-03-04

10 Reasons Why Internet Explorer 6 Needs to Be Laid to Rest

A group of more than 100 people will gather in Denver, Colorado Thursday to finally put Internet Explorer 6 to rest. The funeral will be used to signify the long-overdue demise of Microsoft's browser, which has been in operation for much of the past decade. The funeral also comes just before Google is expected to discontinue support for Internet Explorer 6 on YouTube and its Google Docs productivity suite.

Unfortunately for those who want to finally say goodbye forever to Internet Explorer 6, it likely won't happen anytime soon. The browser is still used widely around the world by Windows XP users and enterprise customers that rely on it to for some legacy products. But that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be put out to pasture. The browser has been the subject of much criticism over the years. It's also one of the worst security culprits on the market.

Even Microsoft, a company that has stayed notoriously loyal to some of its worst products, recommends users upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, rather than stick with Internet Explorer 6. Simply put, almost everyone believes Internet Explorer 6 is light years past its prime.

But simply allowing it to ride off into the sunset probably won't do it justice. Internet Explorer 6 needs to be laid to rest and forgotten. Here's why:

1. It's brutally ugly

When it comes time to compare Internet Explorer 6 to some of its newer counterparts, most folks are shocked by just how ugly it is. The interface is extremely difficult to maneuver around and the basic design leaves much to be desired. Granted, it was designed at a time when looks didn't mean as much as they do today, but let's be honest, Internet Explorer 6 was never good-looking.

2. It's underpowered

Internet Explorer 6 is extremely underpowered. In fact, it's one of the slowest browsers on the market currently in wide use. When compared to competing browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 6 pales in comparison. Web page render times are brutally slow and in some cases, pages don't even load properly. Simply put, Internet Explorer 6 lacks the power and functionality to make it relevant today.

3. Security, anyone?

Security is where the major issue with Internet Explorer 6 resides. Unlike so many other versions of the browser, Internet Explorer 6 was overrun with security issues. And unfortunately, Microsoft in some cases took far too long to address those problems. Internet Explorer 6 security issues contributed heavily to Mozilla's Firefox browser gaining popularity. Lest we forget, Internet Explorer 6 was practically one big security hole. 

4. Reputation matters

Microsoft cares about its reputation. Perhaps that's why it's so important for the company to push its latest browsers and urge current Internet Explorer 6 users to move on. Prior to the release of Internet Explorer 6, few folks really had trouble with Microsoft's browser. They knew it wasn't perfect, but it worked. After Internet Explorer 6, the company's reputation was diminished as more and more users saw the browser for what it was: a lost cause.

Internet Explorer 6 Unloved andUnlamented

5. Compatibility

Try using Internet Explorer 6 today and accessing all your favorite Web sites. Chances are, several of those sites won't work, thanks to the browser's inability to accommodate so many of the Web's new technologies. If the site you're accessing was built 10 years ago, you'll be fine. But if it was built over the past few years, you might as well move along. That's the definitive stamp of a browser that needs to be put to rest.

6. Google says goodbye

When it comes to the Internet, there is no more important company than Google. In many ways, the search giant leads the way for both companies and Web users. So, when it announced that it would no longer support Internet Explorer 6 in Google Docs or with YouTube, the company sent a clear message: Internet Explorer 6 is dead. When will the rest of the world realize that?

7. The world hates it

Speaking of the rest of the world, it seems that the majority of folks can't stand Internet Explorer 6. It makes sense. As mentioned, the browser has been the culprit behind far too many security attacks. It has also failed to deliver a viable browsing experience in a long time. Folks around the world have every reason to dislike it. Most of all, they have every reason to want to see it laid to rest.

8. Even Microsoft wants to forget about it

Microsoft has suggested on numerous occasions that it wants users to switch from Internet Explorer 6 to a new version of its browser. It makes sense. The browser has been nothing but a thorn in Redmond's side for years. When the creator of a software package is doing its part to see it die, a funeral in its name might be justified.

9. It moves users to other browsers

Internet Explorer 6 has been a blessing in disguise for Mozilla's Firefox browser, as well as other competitors like Opera and Google Chrome. Folks who have used Internet Explorer and been burned by its problems have opted against another installation of Internet Explorer. They have instead decided to use competing software. That's fine for us. But for Microsoft's sake, it better hope Internet Explorer 6 is laid to rest sooner rather than later.

10. It's obsolete

As many of the aforementioned issues show, Internet Explorer 6 is obsolete. First and foremost, the browser is old. Secondly, it has been improved upon by Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8. Worst of all, it can't compete on any level with the competition. Internet Explorer is simply a mess at this point in its life. It provides little value outside of offering compatibility with legacy services. And it needs to be laid to rest before it does any more damage. So long, Internet Explorer 6. Sorry, but we probably won't miss you.


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