Microsoft Asking Users to Abandon IE6

The price of constant advancement in the realm of information technology is the need to keep up with the changes and updates that everyday programs frequently undergo. Microsoft, the modern software giant that created Windows, Internet Explorer, and much more has recently revealed a glimpse into the future of their development cycle. While Internet Explorer in particular has weathered many changes and updated versions, it has reached another milestone: Microsoft has revealed a new campaign to discourage users from continuing to use Internet Explorer 6, citing work savings for website owners and programmers as a central reason.

Outdated Software

IE 6 is generally well regarded in the world of web browsers for its solid overall stability and strong feature set in the context of its generation. By modern standards, however, IE6 is sorely lacking. Every modern browser features tabbed browsing, which easily allows users to switch between web pages without the need to open separate windows. Likewise, today’s browsers are extremely stable and secure, and feature integrated search functions to speed user interaction and find relevant results quickly. IE6 lacks these features, making it much less useful than its newer cousin, IE8. Internet Explorer versions from 8 onwards also offer extensive tool sets for customization, meaning that users can change the browser software’s function to suit personal preference. IE6 is limited to the default feature set, making upgrading a great way to transform a browser into a customized Internet platform.

Compatibility and Security Woes

One of the major benefits to upgrading Internet Explorer is the increased website compatibility that upgrades provide. ActiveX and large amounts of web-based flash can cause serious stability issues including crashes and freezes for customers running older software versions including IE6. Not only will website features work better, but customers running newer software versions are far less prone to virus infections picked up through infected advertising. Malicious tactics such as infected flash ads were originally designed for browsers similar to IE6; modern versions have upgraded security functionality that can automatically detect and neutralize threats without the user being aware.

Looking Forward

Microsoft’s newest browser offering, Internet Explorer 9, is poised to make a huge impact in the world of online software. IE9 is currently offered as a publicly-available release candidate, in essence a high powered beta version of the software that users can test out while Microsoft makes last minute changes and tweaks based on their feedback. IE9 includes many interesting new features such as a high-security download list (including options for pausing and restarting downloads,) a redesigned user interface that integrates the Windows 7 task bar, and an improved scripting engine modified from previous versions to take advantage of multi-core processors. IE9 takes full advantage of HTML 5, the popular markup language’s newest version, and improves dramatically over previous versions where rates of malware detection are concerned.

Most users have taken the plunge and upgraded past IE6, but some may be holdouts, still hanging on to a favorite software version as the net changes around them. In truth, while upgrading may be a bit worrisome at first, nothing but benefits await those who decide to update to the latest software version. IE9 offers much more than a simple cosmetic update: better security, more usability, and tight integration with other related software are all available for no cost.

Zac is a link building specialist and a seasoned SEO professional. He manages a team of link builders and actively promotes some of Australia's biggest brands. Zac is an active blogger and also maintains Dejan SEO's news and updates section.

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