Is Internet Explorer 6 the reason why you’re still running Windows XP?
So, you’ve started your proof of concept for your new desktop environment, because your organization is demanding for improvement. You are testing the different flavors; VDI, RDS, fat client… (assuming it is based on Window 7 or Windows Server 2008 RDS). You get very excited on all the new features and you’ll see a lot of advantages for your management and deployment of the systems. Next to that you’ll see the advantages for your organization; rich media experience, application availability and remote access. But then…testing your mission critical applications point out a dependency with Internet Explorer 6. Now what? IE6 can’t be installed on the latest operating systems, are you stuck with Windows XP?
This scenario is probably valid for several organizations. That’s why the last couple of weeks there were several articles found on the internet with focus on running Internet Explorer 6 with Windows 7. It seems there are still a lot of organizations with dependencies on Internet Explorer 6. But this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with Windows XP. What are the options:
1) Use an Application Virtualization solution to virtualize Internet Explorer 6. For example InstallFree Bridge, InstallFree Bridge is a real application virtualization solution, see my first impression. Please note that not all Application Virtualization solutions are capable of virtualizing Internet Explorer 6. App-V for example.
2) Use a Terminal Server with or without XenApp, based on Windows Server 2003 and publish Internet Explorer to your new desktop environment.
3) Use a local OS Virtualization solution to virtualize Internet Explorer 6. In fact you are virtualizing Windows XP. MED-V could be an option, Microsoft released a special paper about virtualizing Internet Explorer.
4) Use a central OS Virtualization solution, same as option 3 but now based on a central (VDI) virtualization solution.
Of course the best option is to solve the problem by updating your application but most of the time this is a very time-consuming process. There are some alternatives so you can go on with your desktop replacement project, starting with evaluate an application virtualization solution which is capable of virtualizing Internet Explorer 6.
The reason you can’t get Internet Explorer 6 virtualized with App-V is because you can’t run a setup of Internet Explorer 6 with your App-V sequencer on Windows 7. So, you can’t easily isolate the IE6 bits in a App-V sequence. The same for Citrix Application Streaming but maybe there is an option in this blog, waiting for part 2.
Do you have an Internet Explorer 6 dependency? What option are you using? Please share.