Ignoring the almost decade long record of terrible security problems, companies soon found that their business applications had mostly been written to only work with IE, instead of other browsers. Netscape stumbled and died the death, and Firefox struggled for years against this. Sure, you could use Firefox, but there were certain critical corporate business apps that just didn't work with it. This "embrace and extend" standards strategy had served Microsoft well in the past, and this was no different. It was simply too expensive for most companies to rewrite their critical business apps to work with other browsers.
Well, fast forward ten years, to where Microsoft wants its customers to upgrade to Windows 7 (and soon, Windows 8). The problem? IE5 doesn't run on Windows 8, and the business apps don't work without IE6. And so companies are staying on Windows XP:
“We continually hear that legacy web applications are the number one blocker to migration. When it costs millions of dollars to rewrite or replace a critical business application, migration projects invariably stall until a cost-effective solution can be found," the blog coninued.Now you need to take some tech stories with a grain of salt - the Press Release doesn't make for good technology any more than it makes for good science. But the cost of Microsoft lock in is real, and the irony that Microsoft is getting hit by that (intentional) installed base inertia is rich indeed.
Browsium offers a web browser plugin called Ion, which runs IE6 and IE7-only apps in IE8 and IE9 on Windows 7. It does this by recreating the IE6 environment, including configuration files and security settings, within newer browsers.
Microsoft’s own advice on moving apps off of IE6 and IE7 isn’t particularly helpful – in fact it’s probably compounding the problem: developers are told to rewrite old apps, which will cost time and money.