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Political Solutions to Technical Problems – Upgrading to IE 7

Shane CorellianShane Corellian

I’ve been surprised at the number of organizations that are still using IE 6. If your org is one of these, then  chances are good that there’s a political reason. Since technical solutions rarely solve political issues, it’s time for some political thinking. Then we’ll get to the technical bit.

Years ago my hometown Sheriff lost a re-election. Just like IE 6, he had been around forever and it seemed that he would never go away. So what finally did him in? Sex scandal? Money scandal? Nope. It was his opponents one line campaign slogan.

Do we need a new Sheriff? Just ask a cop.

Let’s use the same approach when political, rather than technical, hurdles arise in upgrading IE 6.

Upgrade Internet Explorer? Just ask a [web developer | power user | windows administrator].

Pick your analogy. Torture chamber. Lemon juice on a cut. FUBAR. My personal favorite is an old Simpson’s line, “it tastes like burning”. These are the phrases thrown around by web developers who are trying to make their sites work with IE 6. Afterall, it is the version that helped spawn the popularity of Firefox (which, in the interest of full disclosure, is the browser that I am using to write this post). But IE 7 has changed a lot, and now that IE 8 is out, it’s time to approach management with the reality that support for IE 6.0 is drying up (more than a handful of sites are no longer supporting it).

If your organization is using web apps that will not work on newer versions of IE, then it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with the vendor or developer(s). If they are going to maintain a product, then they need to port it over. If not, then you have some more homework, like finding an alternate solution. IE6 won’t be around forever.

DownloadSquad has a good article on this very topic. Perhaps the most interesting read (including the comments) came from Ryan Farley’s excellent blog.

The technical part of upgrading IE is pretty simple, albeit slightly different from other deployment solutions.It’s an easy deployment, so no worries, you’ll be out of the stone-age in no time at all.

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