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Is Internet Explorer 6 Dead? Here’s the Latest News

Is Internet Explorer 6 Dead? Is it time to move on?

Illustration: Gordon McAlpin

Internet Explorer version 6 comes with every fresh installation of Windows XP, before you run updates. In fact, just to update XP all the way requires you to use IE6 to access the Internet.
The problem is this: you shouldn’t be using Internet Explorer 6 at all!
Here are the reasons why it’s really important to stop using IE6 and either update it to IE8 or switch to an alternative browser (wise, because IE9 isn’t available for XP)

  • It’s got major, unpatched security issues. Windows hasn’t updated it since 2008, and has effectively stopped supporting it, so any new security flaws are going to go unfixed. IE6 is a way into your PC for hackers. That’s no good.
  • There are major Web standards out there that are simply unsupported by IE6. Many modern-day websites just won’t look right, as UT website designers move away from having to support IE6.
  • Modern Web browser innovations like tabbed browsing, bookmark sync, built-in Flash, sandboxing (meaning if a page crashes, it doesn’t take the whole browser with it) are just not present in IE6.
  • It renders pages much more slowly than more recent browsers. It launched in 2001. It’s just not a good idea to use a PC application that’s as old as that.

Luckily, Microsoft has finally starting pushing through a required update that upgrades everyone out of Internet Explorer 6. If you’ve got updates turned on, eventually you’ll be asked to switch.
If you’re worried that your old PC can’t handle a modern browser as well as an older one, keep in mind that newer browsers fix a lot of memory leak issues and operate more efficiently than older browsers. So the difference in performance should be negligible.
The bottom line is, don’t keep using IE6. Pages won’t look right, it’s a security risk, and it’s no longer supported. Upgrade, and you’ll be glad you did!

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