If technology had a mantra surely it would be “advance”. Odd then that so many of us get stuck in a technological rut when it comes to updating software on our computers. Let’s take internet browsers for example. A recent article states “IE6 started off 2010 with about one-fifth of the browser market share”. Amazing considering it was launched in 2001.
Concerns have mounted in recent weeks over Internet Explorer 6 after it was revealed security flaws within the browser were to blame for the “cyber attacks” on Google that apparently originated from China. These security issues have led to calls for the UK government to make a move away from IE6 to a modern browser. The NHS for example has been urged by The Department of Health to update as soon as possible.
A petition set up by web-firm Inigo tasked with speeding up this move states “Most creative and software development companies are forced by government department clients to build websites for IE6 when most of the industry has moved on. Upgrading would be a massive task for government but if the public is encouraged to lead the way and the government follows, that would create the momentum needed”.
The continued use of the browser is adding extra pressure upon web-designers as they are being forced to work with a system that is approaching its tenth birthday (IE6 is in fact older than the first Ipod and how many times have you updated that?). If the security threat is not enough to prompt a change then perhaps the stunted growth of the web may be.
As a web based company we have our own in house development team – and of course, they always have to make sure that our sites work effectively in all browsers. In fact, in October 2009 we updated our company formation site www.companiesmadesimple.com – and because our company formation system has to talk directly with Companies House, it was a particularly complex process. However, whilst our savvy developers rose to the challenge elsewhere – they were considerably hampered by ensuring all processes worked in IE6. Any developer will tell you that IE6 is a real headache (to put it politely). So come on all you IE6 users – move with the times.