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We've already rolled out Windows XP SP2 (no hope of going to Vista or Windows 7 in the foreseeable future unfortunately) across the enterprise and our latest internal roll-out actually incorporates SP3 as well - but unfortunately IE is explicitly being kept at version 6.

Regardless of the numerous security warnings our there and lack of applicability in the greater world wide web, my manager still sees intranet apps written for IE6 as the main reason to stay on it. What can we do to swing the vote in our favour? We're tired of supporting an ailing browser when users call us up constantly complaining that website don't look right, and more and more people asking for browser tabs "because that's what they've got at home".

Any arguments we can put forward would be great!

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I'm curious if the answers here helped you. If your IT manager still can't see the forest for the trees, I think you should follow whatever policy procedures your entity has towards finding a resolution for this disagreement. –  l0c0b0x Jun 6 '09 at 3:51
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9 Answers 9

up vote 10 down vote accepted
  1. Highlight the security risks that it exposes. Calculate how much damage can be done to the network through a malware attack that gets in through someone's IE6 install.
  2. Calculate how much extra time you spend on support handling user questions related to IE6 issues, and how much extra dev work is needed to accommodate the users. Put a yearly dollar range on this.
  3. Estimate effect on worker productivity of not being able to use features like tabs
  4. Calculate lost productivity due to inability to fully use websites that are not compatible with IE6

Get a range on how much money could be lost by keeping IE6 (even in unlikely scenarios), and how much money can be saved by upgrading. Money and ROI talk.

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Except he can't do this properly without calculating how much money it will cost to upgrade the internal intranet applications to be IE7/IE8 compatible. You can't produce an ROI without calculating everything! –  blowdart Apr 30 '09 at 10:00
    
True, you can't produce an ROI without calculating everything. But for a manager who still insists in IE6, you aren't going to convince him without an ROI. –  Yaakov Ellis Apr 30 '09 at 10:22
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A manager this out of touch, insisting on legacy web browsers... I would just quit. –  thinkhard May 6 '09 at 14:18
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Managers always like cost to benefit breakdowns of decisions from my experience.

Just show him/her how making the switch to a current browser will be of greater benefit than staying with the relic that is IE6.

And, if you cannot come up with a good analysis, then maybe it is not really in your favor to make the switch.

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I would be really pushing the increased security in both IE7 and IE8. Pop-up blocking, phishing filters etc...

IE6 is one of the biggest entry point for malware onto a Windows system. You can reduce a lot of this by leaving IE6

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This is a tricky thing that i have tried to fight but i haven't had much luck in the past.

The two options i see is to either convince management that IE6 is a large security risk to the network (as it is) and that if anything the intranet apps need to be updated to avoid the risk of the entire network becoming open to attack or convince them to allow something like Firefox or chrome for browing online but restrict IE6 to local browsing for the intranet apps.

And good luck!

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Hiring an intern to update the intranet apps should be probably less costly than doing extensive cleanup of the network due to a security breach, because of using an insecure and standards-ignorant browser both for intranet and internet.

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You will found arguments on stopie.com or, from a developer point of view, things that you will do when IE6 will be over, but also, use the fact that many websites are now making ads against IE 6 like :

Also, if you read French, take a look on Tristan Nitot's blog ("CEO" for Mozilla Europe) where you will find some good content on that subject.

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Arguments based on:

"IE6 is a legacy system, only on extended support from Microsoft. Microsoft was recently pushed IE8 through as a Critital Patch on Windows Update and will only publish future patches for IE6 for the most serious issues"

"If we continue to allow IE6 users to connect to the Internet then we are increasing our risk of malware infection."

"It is better to 'keep up' with the upgrades and patches as they come out, than to stagnate and be left with a HUGE upgrade in the future that will be MUCH more expensive (in time, effort and cost)"

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I've followed this line of "attack" when proposing we move the remainder of our user population off IE6 and onto IE7, we're a third of the way there, but still they bring forward arguments suggesting potential issues with apps etc. Despite the latest hole found in IE6 they still balk at the idea of upgrading/updating to something closer to current. –  Mitch Feb 5 '10 at 16:24
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Have you tested your intranet apps with IE7 or IE8? We had several that we thought were IE6-only that actually work with IE7.

If the intranet apps are in-house developed, then you need to asses how expensive the compatibility work will be; if they are external then you need to contact the suppliers.

Just identifying the actual roadblocks can be good, as you often find they are much less than you thought.

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If IE6 has to be in use:

Update all workstation IE installations and use

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