Microsoft has announced that in January it will be automatically (and silently) updating users' versions of Internet Explorer. This is fantastic news for the internet, and the world as a whole.
All users whose computers have Automatic Updates activated on Windows will benefit from this upgrade.
Normally, we would be up in arms about Microsoft interfering with personal computers without their users' explicit consent, and about them choosing what software you should and shouldn't use. But in this case, we'll all be making an exception.
This should all but guarantee the demise of Internet Explorer version 6 (IE6), which has held back the internet for the past 10 years! This upgrade should automatically wipe IE6 from most users' computers and replace it with a working upgrading.
I say "working" upgrade, because IE6 does not work. It has never worked. When it was released it had countless bugs which meant that it displayed the internet incorrectly. So for the past 10 years, web developers have had to go to great lengths adding hacks and proprietory code to make sure that their websites would display properly for people using this software. It could easily double the development time of a website.
The other big problem is that internet technology has advanced greatly over the past 10 years, but IE6 cannot handle these new technologies. This means that web developers cannot use the new technologies because we need to make sure that all of our websites work for all users, even those using IE6.
Over the past couple of years, most web designers (including Google themselves) have just given up. They have stopped supporting IE6 completely. If their website looks rubbish in IE6, they just don't care any more. In their opinion, if their visitors want it to look right, they must upgrade to a "working" browser version.
You'll know if you're using IE6 because most of the websites that you visit will look rubbish and you'll have lots of problems using a lot of websites.
If you suspect that you are still using IE6 and you do not have automatic updates enabled on your computer, PLEASE manually upgrade by going to this website and downloading and installing the latest version.
Please do this, because if you are still using IE6, everyone who's ever made a website already hates you :-)
We need to kill off IE6 completely.