Way back when XP was released, and IE6 was new and shiny, I doubt that Microsoft foresaw this problem:
The latest statistics from Web metrics company Net Applications pegged IE6's usage share at 15.6%, which means it's the world's third-most-used browser edition. Many of the holdouts are enterprises locked into IE6 because the commercial software or home-grown applications they use work only in that browser.
Apparently, many of those outfits won't update because their IT applications are dependent on IE 6, and in the current economic environmnet, rewriting them just isn't in the budget. It's a nasty problem for everyone - IT shops are stuck on a now very old OS and very out of date browser, and Microsoft is left with a fairly ugly decision - should they stick with the 2014 death date for XP (and with it, IE 6), or should they provide some kind of virtualization bridge?
I guess popularity has its downsides, too.
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