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IE6: the end is (hopefully) near

By Aaron Gustafson | July 26th, 2006 | Filed in Browsers, Microsoft, Web Standards (general)

Hot on the heels of the IE7 Βeta 3 release, Microsoft has announced plans to roll out the final standalone version of IE7 via its Automatic Update service.

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Given the greatly improved support for standards in addition to the security fixes in IE7, I think going the Automatic Update route was a wise decision for Microsoft and will certain hasten the adoption of the new browser, but it doesn’t mean we’re rid of IE6 yet.

While, on the consumer side, a large percentage of users will likely make the switch, possibly without even realizing it, corporate adoption could be slow. As it has done with several service packs, Microsoft will be allowing systems administrators to manage when IE7 is deployed (if at all) within their enterprise. Does this mean the transition will be quick and smooth or will we still be tied to supporting IE6 like we were for so many years with Netscape 4? I’m not sure, but given the major security improvements in IE7, coupled with Microsoft’s labelling of it as a “high priority” update, I’d like to think most corporations will be relatively quick to roll it out, but there’s just no telling.

In all, I think this is positive news for web standards developers, and I get the feeling we’ll soon see Microsoft more heavily promoting the browser in an attempt to win back some folks from Firefox and clear its name on the security front. Who knows, we might even be able to bid IE6 a (not so) fond farewell this Fall.

/me crosses fingers

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#1 On July 26th, 2006 2:11 pm