They recommended IE6 too but the main issue wasn't what the user saw when visiting the page, it was the supplier CMS used to administrate it. This was enforced by Mercedes themselves, so all dealerships had to use it.
It was custom, and, this is no exaggeration, impossible to use. There was probably a 600 page manual, caked in dust in some forgotten supply cupboard, detailing what exactly you had to do after you'd managed the Herculean task of logging in.
Editing a simple block of text required 'unlocking' it, which would for some reason lock other elements. And then when you did change the text it might not have let you save it anyway, providing plenty of incomprehensible error messages.
I must have put a mental block on the rest because I quit after just a day of figuring it out, but my guess is that pages like that still exist because no bugger can figure out how to edit them.
I'd be surprised if VW didn't use the same or a similar CMS themselves.
I sometimes wonder why these interfaces are so freaking common for anything not facing the general public.
It's simple, the choice is to either use it or find a new job. Quitting is not easy or practical to many people.
Even the general public faces such choices with atrocious bank, DMV, govt sites etc. written 10 years ago in with CGI or ASP. (and a COBOL backend).
The CMS I maintain at work is not so bad compared to this.
This probably means they have serious security holes which could be easily triggered by other browsers.
So we could easily be talking 2006 or before.
> The cooperation takes place by our Group Business Platform using current security standards and ciphering methods. A secure data interchange has high priority!
Because that's all there is to security.
> All data is transferred with a 128 Bit SSL coding and are even secured by your log in on our Group Business Platform. This ciphering method is used in all areas of the platform and is added with further certificates.
I didn't realise we could code in SSL.
> The Volkswagen Group is using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 as standard the for displaying web pages. For the daily work with our platform, we recommend you to use the Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, too.
> By using the current version and the updates provided by Microsoft we guarantee you a secure connection.
I must have been living under a rock; I thought that it was because Internet Explorer was so insecure that I get patches every week for it. Oh, but then again, those were security issues with the rendering, not the connection. It must be the connection that is so important!
> For security reasons, the Volkswagen Group does not recommend other browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape etc. as they show security gaps.
Oh. Okay. I understand.
"Coding" is also a mistranslation, fwiw; should be "encoding". I like the number mismatch in that same sentence - data "is" transferred but "are" secured. For computer applications you normally go with data as a mass noun (always singular, like water or corn), but you definitely should be consistent with your choice.
Ugh. This whole thing is causing me bad proofreading flashbacks. I'm leaving.
-PC or MAC with internet connection
-Web Browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 is recommended)
So... they mean a (pretty old) PC with internet connection then?
According to wikipedia, the project was discontinued as late as 2002. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_for_UNIX
> I didn't realise we could code in SSL.
"Coding" does not solely mean "programming", it also has the meaning of "encoding" in general.
By using the current version and the updates
provided by Microsoft we guarantee you a secure
10 years ago a browser was born.
Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we’re in 2011,
in an era of modern web standards, it’s time to say goodbye.
This website is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6
usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can
choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours
of work for web developers.
And most of you wont be in a position to do so, because you avoid these industries like the plague. :-)
Just recently we were dealing with a large corporation that was still using IE6 throughout the company and our web app had to support this browser.
Their Netweaver product was build with lots of ActiveX + OS stuff that's so proprietary, that it will not work with even IE7.
Of course SAP has released upgrades but companies have to pay for it or change larger parts of their ERP to be able to apply the upgrades. As ERPs are propably upgraded once per decade, this will take some time...
From various access logs I've analyzed, I can say that Daimler, Merck (the Germany Merck), Bayer, Deutsche Post and some Governments (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) still run IE6 in wide-scale deployments.
It seems that only view companies provide alternative, modern browsers to their users or the users don't use them and stick with their IE6 default (as they know from SAP Portal) even when browsing externaly.
We only got IE8 (on WinXP, Win7 will not launch for another year or two) this year. And before that it was whatever IE version ships with WinXP.
The alternative we can use is a Firefox that has not been updated since its rollout in 2009. And of course you are not allowed to use other than company-managed software, especially web-browsers are tightly regulated, exceptions granted only for a few chosen employees.
The policy regarding webbrowsers explicitly states that this is done to avoid having people running outdated versions of them...
While it's laughable, I understand the driving forces behind it, and have since stopped caring, so long as nobody insists that our public sites need only work on IE 6/7/8. I can usually end that discussion with one word: iPad.
They could, of course, just hire more support staff, but then their productivity would drop and the CEO would have to shave five feet off the length of his next yacht.
In nearly every case, the old browser in the standard image is there because of some terrible legacy software from the late 1990s that: (1) was premised on the notion that the runtime environment would never change, and (2) is licensed from a vendor who charges obscene amounts of money for any change. Either that, or some useless "intranet" that nobody invested in since 1998.
I will never for the life of me understand why these companies don't create desktop shortcuts to the IE6-based tools, and let employees do their other browsing in a newer browser. It comes down to laziness and apathy, and the dynamics of a big company that has matured to the point where too many second-rate, CYA-oriented people infiltrate the ranks of management and operations.
1. Windows XP. XP installation media only ever came with IE6, never anything newer. Given the frequency that most corporate workstations get reassigned and wiped and reimaged, IE6 comes out of the reinstallation casket all the time.
2. Intranet systems. For most corporations of size, internal browser-based applications get the company's business done on a daily basis. Optimizing for this case is more important than optimizing for public web browsing. And these apps were written by the lowest-available-cost developers, many in outsourced shops that are long gone, who barely understood anything about the underlying technology and inadvertently rely on all sorts of browser misbehavior and bugs. (Also, the real limitation here is Microsoft-imposed, that you can't easily run multiple versions of IE on the same system, because so much of what we call IE is really integrated operating system components. IE6 for intranet alongside IE8/9 for the public web would be an optimal case but is not practical.)
3. Other browsers do exist. In several large corps I've seen, the policy (unofficial or official) is to use IE6 for the internal apps, and go ahead and install Firefox for public web browsing. The users savvy enough to install Firefox will do so; the users that don't know what a browser version is aren't missing anything.
4. User training. These are the users that will call the helpdesk and complain when their intranet app opens its popup in a tab instead of a new window and they can't find it because the instructions on their Post-it say to click on the window in the taskbar. No IT department wants to deal with that.
5. Cost-benefit, which is really a superset of everything above. There's still no compelling business benefit for most companies to buy Windows 7, so they're still reinstalling XP with IE6 all the time. There's no profitable business plan to be shown for spending time and money upgrading internal apps to work with IE8/9 and retraining users to the new workflow. Remember that these corporations are always in existence to make money. They aren't there to serve some Platonic ideal of everybody using the World Wide Web with the newest technology.
Some of this proprietary software was written in ActiveX, VBscript or some other technology that means that the vendor only officially supports it operating under IE6. It might run fine under newer IE versions or other browsers, but doing so would void the support contract with the vendor (which means huge costs).
So the choice is either to spend millions more upgrading it (when it works perfectly fine for business purposes already), or keep everyone on IE6. Most stick with IE6.
It's getting better as the cost of the software gets fully amortized and planned replacement projects start going ahead - but there's still holdouts.
I work with a 50,000+ employee corporation that just got the go-ahead to upgrade employee workstations to IE8 - with the exception of a few departments (x,000 workstations) who are stuck with one of the aforementioned proprietary apps that's more expensive to upgrade than it is to support the users with the crappy browser.
Too hard to manage?
An open source HTML5 replacement for that application would be interesting and a huge boost to new health care web apps. But it would be hard to convince risk-averse hospital IT people to use it.
I think this is pretty common through the motor trade. They simply cannot move quick enough.
In fact the problem seems to get worse as you add more technology and money; if Top Gear is any indication the supercars of the world are all a usability joke. They have a dizzying array of meaningless, misplaced, and practically useless buttons. I believe on the latest Ferrari you can either see your speed or your position on a map, but not both.
It seems very similar to the phone industry before the iPhone.
Just one item: in order to cost-compete you need very high volume, and that means putting huge amounts of capital at risk. Automotive engineers care about component pricing at the sub-cent level since volumes are so high.
BMW have had HUD for several years, which overlay speed and turn-by-tun navigation, which are very usable.
You can expect this type of thing in entry and mid level cars within the next 5-10 years, as the current model cycles pan out.
Top Gear love to make fun of these features, and indeed some are silly. But the vast majority work well and have a lot of thought behind them. The version 1.0 of all this stuff is already 10 years old.
Early experiments into touch-screen everything have proven to not be popular with the car-buying public. Through experimentation, designers have found that, for important functions (ventilation, radio, etc) a physical button in a known location outperforms a touch screen interface every time. In my case, this is because you can memorize the location and feel of a button and can push it reliably without taking your eyes off the road. You can push it in the dark at night time, and you get tactile feedback.
Touchscreen systems are already here, but will always bury less-used functions like options and navigation, which is designed to be used while stationary, while the more common functions will remain as dedicated push buttons.
Outside of the tech-geek world, function, function and function is prized much more than interesting neat features. Take a test drive with the average car buyer and you'll find that a simple, familiar and well-designed user interface will trump a tech-fest every time. While there is a lot of technical interest in 'carputers' the general public won't ever really warm to them. The big sales winners are in things like self-parking and parking cameras/sensors, accident avoidance and other passive safety systems.
But to me, it seems car market is very different from consumer electronics. First, building a car is still a hard task, harder than putting transistors together. Second, risk of car failure is much higher than risk of computer failure.
In other words, I would be afraid to ride 120 kmph on a highway if I knew the probability of random failure is as high as on my computer. I can't just backup my life regularly.
edit: OK, I misread your post a little, but I am letting this comment here since I wrote it already
Except that the interface is... kludgy, at best.
They could ship with a package manager (or "app store", what have you), and offer an API to the car. If they allow competition amongst app makers then usability standards should naturally increase.
Of course it would be necessary for car-makers to set high minimum standards of safety in app design, and to enforce those standards strictly.
I've considered starting a car company around this principle, but the barrier to entry is daunting.
Banking is another example, hence BankSimple. A decent web UI/experience will get them more brand loyalty than a TV ad with ponies. This logic applies across all traditional industry verticals.
Car companies are focusing on design. They are spending billions on it.
Regarding the Ferrari 458, it can show the current speed as a number while showing the map at the same time.
even if somebody today put your beloved ipad in a concept, you would still laugh it off in 7 years when/if it got into production.
For companies that don't rely heavily on internet tech, understanding why you don't want to use IE6 is beyond most people.
Further more, we use their systems with Chrome, Firefox and other browsers with no problems.
Maybe the standard is different with the US, but in the UK this doesn't apply.
Is that a "legal" guarantee? Seems kind of dangerous for a company to make that kind of claim about 3rd party software.
As much as I want I can't drop support for IE6, it's still 40% of my crowd (old people ftw).
It seems that the current post "outs" the security function.
I wonder if it was carefully worded by someone who knew better as it appears to be a very good advert for attracting "unwanted" attention.
"All data is transferred with a 128 Bit SSL coding and are even secured by your log in on our Group Business Platform."
Although even in 2009 I still wouldn't recommend IE6.
If you have a current, up to date version of IE, it's not version 6. We've been trolled by what is clearly some sort of prank.
Obviously this entry is for unexperienced people of the IT, which neglect the fact that your stuff is only safe as long someone hasn't found it's weakness.
AND - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, REVERSI!
They are giving the unexperianced wrong information and making them misinformed. If they want to help the unexperianced, they shouldn't tell them that a secure experience can be guaranteed with IE6. They should encourage them to use modern browsers which are still regularly supported with security patches.
You only prove me ..
He only proves you wrong. The fact that is for B2B doesn't change a damn thing, false and dangerous information is false and dangerous information, and in fact EVEN MORE SO, since it is addressed to "small companies which probably have 0 IT professionals and old software".