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We all know that Windows XP is rock-solid but not capable anymore to defend against today’s attacks and the same is true for IE6. Having been great products, when they were launched, the threat landscape changed significantly since then.
Windows 7 has a great potential to help customers now move away from Windows XP and so has IE8 (or IE9) for IE6.
I just read this article: Home Office does u-turn on Internet Explorer 6. This outstanding news and I am looking forward seeing more governments following the UK’s path
Sometimes the reasons for not moving to the newer platforms are very basic. Each and every program has to be evaluated to determine if it can be run in the newer platforms. The bottom line is money. When you are spending monthly charges to go online, then add in the cost of each program being upgraded, and don't forget the hardware may not be adequate to run the newer software, and you land in my position. I can not afford to upgrade my entire network, hardware and software. The money is simply not there. I agree with you on the need to do so, as my network was trashed by a backdoor trojan, and now I am struggling to fix all the ensuing problems. I do not have the access to support because I'm unable to use telephones (deaf). When we can not get the security we need, we have to deal with it. So, please don't be so quick to judge people who do not upgrade or keep up with the heavy flow of fixes. BTW, WGA is also a major problem if your original setup was created by Gateway or any of the many manufacturers who customized the programs that came with the hardware. There needs desperately for a legacy technical support from companies such as Microsoft. But I doubt it will ever happen. We can't pay for it. And because we can not, ultimately our computers will become part of everyone's problems.
I understand where you come from and justifying an upgrade is not easy especially if you do not have quantitative risk models in place where you can show the cost of not upgrading.
There is at quite some technology in place which helps with the compatibility problem like Application Virtualization and Windows 7 XP Mode.
If I listen to you, upgrading does most probably cost less than you fighting all these security exploits...