Straight to the question: Does anything have a good resource for details of what changed between IE6 and IE7, specifically that might make IE6 unable to connect to HTTPS resources on a IIS7 (Windows 2008) based web servers? Our assumption is that the servers are only accepting newer protocol versions/variants than IE6 can not cope with, but we can not find where this might be configured.
To cut a short story long:
We've hit a problem with a couple of web servers running a client application. Since a pile of local policy changes and other registry settings were changed as a result of the client having penetration testers review the configuration, Internet Explorer 6 has refused to connect to the site via HTTPS (the error reported is the default "cannot find server or DNS error" message). IE7 and IE8 are fine, as are other browsers we have tried (FireFox on Windows, FF on Ubuntu, links, ...) though this is a moot point as many of the users more-or-less exclusively use IE6. IE6 is happy to access the same resources on the same IIS installations via HTTP.
Going through the changes that are documented we have found nothing obvious that has made this the case, and even applying all the changes to one of our test servers does not create the problem, those one of the changes was with regard to pulling in non-local policies so I suspect that this is where the problem comes from.
I've not been able to find any useful information by searching (many many sites documenting how to perform the most basic SSL configuration on the web server and get certificates trusted by client applications and such, but no word apparently relating to this issue), nor has anything obvious jumped out at me while scanning through the local policies documentation for the web server from Microsoft.
Telling the client to upgrade from IE6 is, unfortunately, not an option. I'm loath to tell them to simply rebuild the web server(s) and being more careful which check-boxes they click next time, but it is getting to be point where that might have to be our recommendation...