The end of IE6 is near, isn’t it?

Apparently many out there are under the impression that IE8 will be installed overnight on all Windows machines automagically by which IE6 will die a sudden death. Right, right? WRONG!

If you have read the announcement carefully you’ll notice that the installer file indeed will be pushed out to Windows users, yet they’d still have to opt-in (viz. click an “I accept and install” button).

See those buttons there?

IE8 will not automatically install on machines. Users must opt-in to install IE8. Users will see a Welcome screen that offers choices: Ask later, install now, or don’t install.

Above that the update won’t be pushed to Windows 2000 users; Heck, even IE7 isn’t available to them (yes, some companies still run Win2K as it works for them – the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix (upgrade) it”-mentality in action.

In the end, it’ll be upon the users individually and the sysadmins if they will install it or not; And that’s where things might go wrong.

As long as the users won’t embrace IE8 (or are given the option not to embrace it at all, as they are doing now with the opt-in), then I’m quite sure it won’t spread like a wildfire due to various reasons be it fear of change, bad word of mouth, etc.

Think about it; Would a regular user like your next-door neighbor, the lady across the street, etc. install it if they heard bad things about the new version (it takes only 1 user with a bad review to make this happen – “Hey dude, it slowed down my computer, don’t install it or it’ll slow down yours too.”)? Will they be able to adopt to the sudden change when moving from IE6? Will they even tend to upgrade if the current version installed works for them? Will they upgrade from IE7 to IE8 knowing that the previous move (from IE6 to IE7) broke some websites?

No, I don’t think so. Heck, I know some savvy dudes out there sticking with Office 2003 because the change to 2007 was too much for them. Not talking about my mum (who works with 2K7 btw) here, but some (self-proclaimed?) IT guys! And no, that’s no joke.

Go directly to jail, do not pass go

I think it’s quite clear that I’m not convinced (yet) this will turn out just fine, yet I can only hope for the best outcome. I know what I’ll have to do though: spend my time telling every non-savvy guy/gal out there that IE8 just rocks and is the greatest (although we all do know that’s not true given the other players out there) and they all should install it.

Oh boy do I hope that within a few months I’ll be writing a post apologizing for this one, and labeling the info here as faulty.


Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium, working as a Chrome Developer Relations Engineer at Google. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

Unless noted otherwise, the contents of this post are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License and code samples are licensed under the MIT License

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  1. It will be a disaster for windows 98, NT, 2000 users if this happens. It shouldn’t be that way because like in my business, we are using Windows 2000 and currently at IE6. I don’t think that IE8 will be installed in Windows 2000 or perhaps I will hope for the Microsoft to change the Windows Update will just detect the kind of Windows version to be updated like for XP and higher versions only.

  2. Like you mentioned there’re plenty alternatives out there that make it harder for ie8 to gain coinvidence after the bad experiences from ie6/7. Found this recently: an upcoming browser from belgium

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