Response To Paul Boag's Rant On IE6Update

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about 5 years ago
daviddixon

but its still imitating an official MS alert bar. its malware because its advertising is dishonest in its delivery (the good intent aside).

Its not all too dissimilar from someone putting a fake versign logo into a https page to give that customer "more confidence". The logo itself doesn't mean anything (without the link etc to verify the certificate), but a casual user wont know that, its still statement of authority that they recognise, just as the MS alert bar is.

daviddixon about 5 years ago

iamkeir

I pretty much agree with you and really like your measured delivery. However, the biggest issue for me is that the info bar is deliberately imitating the IE information bar... and, although the aim is a good one, by imitating a source, this is 'phishing' behaviour and surely cannot be endorsed?

I think the best thing is if the info bar was self-styled and linked to a page that explained why upgrading would be beneficial to the user (in terms of security/accessibility etc.) and then linked to IE 8. This could easily be part of an accessibility statement on a website making the info bar completely legitimate.

iamkeir about 5 years ago

Japh

"Its also completely misleading to the user as you its pretending to be a MS alert bar, which it isnt. For all a customer knows, this could be a link to a dangerous piece of malware etc, it gives the impression on authority where none exists, and therefore is in itself malware."

This is a fairly extreme and inaccurate statement. It is an alert bar, and it is about a Microsoft product that is out of date, and links directly to Microsoft's own website.

Japh about 5 years ago

Japh

Microsoft may not even be aware the script exists, and I would actually be very interested to know what they thought of it if they do!

I think the script means well, and at least attempts to do what it's doing in a logical way. Users who don't have their OS's "auto-update" mechanism turned on, won't necessarily even be aware they need to update without a script like this.

Also, Microsoft have a similar tool to this already. If you fire up a freshly installed version of Internet Explorer 6, it will load up on the web page asking you to update to IE8.

I don't believe users who are using IE6 by choice will find this any more annoying than the various other prompts they must be getting all the time about software being out of date. Also, it is unobtrusive enough to easily be ignored if a user should choose to do so.

I believe that of the ways there are available to encourage users to update to IE6, this is the most appropriate.

Please note though, that I am not at all endorsing the use of this script as an excuse for having your website break in IE6. That is never acceptable. I merely think it is a good way to communicate to the user why they may experience a diminished version of the site when using out of date software.

Japh about 5 years ago

daviddixon

Respectfully, I disagree.

The problem with this feature is not that it offers users a "choice" or to advise them their browser is not up to date, but more that it a) is redundant is most situations as the users without IE6 are mostly the ones who cant update for whatever reason (corporate IT policy, older OS etc) and b) its just another tool for designer/developers to use as an excuse to ignore IE6 altogether "its okay to ignore IE6 now as we show on screen their browser doesnt work".

Its also completely misleading to the user as you its pretending to be a MS alert bar, which it isnt. For all a customer knows, this could be a link to a dangerous piece of malware etc, it gives the impression on authority where none exists, and therefore is in itself malware.

daviddixon about 5 years ago

Boagworld

That said, good on you for disagreeing with me :)

Boagworld about 5 years ago