Privacy, Security & Virus Information
Google to Phase Out Support for Internet Explorer 6
Web search giant Google, in the wake of the recent malware raid, have announced that they will be phasing out support for Microsoft's IE6 version browser, identified as the weak link. Google announced that from the first of March 2010, some of their services, among them Google Docs, would not be unavailable through their browser. At the same time, Google, as a show of solidarity with Microsoft, have warmly recommended web surfers to upgrade their Internet Explorer software and "as soon as possible".
Chinese hackers were reportedly the ones who pinpointed a flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) version six browsers to target the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Google have since threatened to withdraw from the Chinese market in the wake of what they described as "sophisticated and targeted" attacks.
To highlight the seriousness of the attacks, both the French and German governments issued press releases strongly advising their citizens to switch to a different browser until the security breach had been repaired. Microsoft, to their credit, were swift in acknowledging that the breach had occurred, and reacted quickly updating the IE6 browser almost three weeks ahead of its programmed security update. To protect themselves from the possibility of further breaches, it now appears that Google intend to gradually phase out access through IE6, with their Google Docs and Google Sites applications being "grayed out" as the first phase.
The breach was undoubted bead news for IE6, which has now been online for almost ten years, and already updated twice. Despite that fact there are still millions of computer owners who use IE 6, although the bad publicity has reportedly allowed rivals such as Firefox to gain market share.
Firefox is now a close second to Internet Explorer (IE) in Europe, with 40% of the market compared to Microsoft's 45% share, while in Germany and Austria, Firefox has already overtaken IE in users.