Today, Microsoft will join other members of the Internet Society (ISOC) in support of World IPv6 Day as part of a broad industry effort to test the next generation Internet Protocol (IPv6). We’re providing IPv6 access to Bing.com, Xbox.com and Microsoft.com for a one-day test of this vastly improved Internet Protocol.

Users with IPv6 Internet capabilities should automatically utilize IPv6 when connecting to a participating website. To use IPv6, your Internet Service Provider needs to support it, as well as your computer.

While the protocols are different, currently the browsing experiences of IPv4 and IPv6 are absolutely identical. Most Internet users won’t even notice that this test is happening. People with only IPv4 connectivity should continue to connect via IPv4, without any degradation in the experience.

More than 10 years ago, Microsoft recognized that the Internet was going to transition to IPv6. Critical to a smooth transition is support for end-hosts, for PCs. We developed IPv6 capabilities for Windows XP, and enabled it by default in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Building on support in Windows, we know that applications and servers need to participate in the transition if it is to succeed. That is why we developed IPv6 support for our Office and Server products, and IPv6 is one of the key promises of Microsoft’s Common Engineering Criteria. We have provided guidance to the developer community on how to build IPv6-capable applications and to the IT community on how to deploy IPv6.

Looking to World IPv6 Day and beyond, we’ve accelerated work with ISPs, hardware vendors, and content delivery networks to make progress on the last stage of the IPv6 transition – end-to-end access to content. World IPv6 Day is more than verifying that websites support a new protocol. Rather, it is about substantiating that the Internet as a whole is ready to upgrade to IPv6. We’re tremendously excited about our many IPv6 investments coming together in support of the transition and that our next generation Web experiences are going to be available via the next-generation Internet.

Many of you might be concerned that World IPv6 Day can degrade your experience. Current data indicates that 99.99 percent of users should experience no issue. However, to make sure you’re ready, we’ve prepared a basic World IPv6 Day readiness check below.

World IPv6 Day Readiness Test in Progress

If the test reports that you may have an issue, a configuration change available on Knowledge Base will have Windows “ignore” IPv6 Day.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s support for IPv6 at http://ipv6day.microsoft.com, and find out about World IPv6 Day at http://www.worldipv6day.org/.

Posted by Christopher Palmer
IPv6 Program Manager, Windows Core Networking, Microsoft