Microsoft launches IE6 deathwatch

Builds site, touts campaign to drive the 10-year-old browser's share under one per cent

Microsoft today launched a deathwatch for its 10-year-old Internet Explorer 6 browser, saying it wanted to "see IE6 gone for good."

According to Microsoft, which cited statistics from Web analytics firm Net Applications, IE6 still has a 12 per cent global usage share, with almost half of that in China, long a stronghold of the aged browser.

Microsoft wants to drive IE6's share under one per cent.

"We bring you the next step in our mission to see IE6 gone for good," said Roger Capriotti, the head of IE's marketing, in a blog post Friday. "To demonstrate our commitment to getting rid of IE6, we're launching a Web site."

That site, ie6countdown.com , shows Net Applications' usage share numbers for IE6 in 43 countries, including the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and Russia, as well as the browser's current global share.

The site also sports links that corporate IT departments can tap for advice on how to migrate to newer browsers. In developed countries like the U.S., IE6's stronghold is in business, where upgrading can be difficult because of custom Web applications or intranets designed for the old browser.

Microsoft hasn't made a secret of its campaign to kill IE6. As long ago as August 2009, a company executive said, "Friends don't let friends use IE6." The company has had success in driving down IE6 use: In August 2009, IE6's share topped 25 per cent.

Capriotti tied the launch of the IE6 deathwatch site to the first anniversary of an IE6 "funeral" hosted by Denver, Colo.-based Web design firm Aten Design Group. Microsoft's IE6 sent a bouquet of flowers to the event, with a card that read, "Thanks for the good times, IE6."

According to Net Applications, China boasts the dubious distinction of having the highest percentage of users running IE6: 34.5 per cent.

"In China, IE6 remains the dominant browser," said Vince Vizzaccaro, Net Application's vice president of marketing, in an interview Monday.

Other countries with a higher-than-average IE6 share include South Korea (24.8 per cent), India (12.3 per cent) and Taiwan (10.7 per cent). In the U.S., IE6's share is just 2.9 per cent.

Although Microsoft has touted IE8 and the impending IE9 as replacements for IE6 and 2006's IE7, it's not been able to stop users from abandoning its browser line for rivals like Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari.

In the last 12 months, IE has lost 4.8 percentage points, dropping to a 56.8 per cent share. The losses would have been even greater had Net Applications not revised its weighting methodology last month. The one-time accounting change pushed up IE's share by the largest one-month amount since Net Applications starting tracking browser usage.

During the same period, Chrome has gained 5.3 points, while Safari has increased its share by 1.9 percentage points.

If IE6 continues to lose share at the pace it's established over the last year, the browser should fall under the one per cent mark in June 2012.

Microsoft has promised to support IE6 until April 2014.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

Read more about browsers in Computerworld's Browsers Topic Center.

Tags applicationsMicrosoftbrowsersWindowssoftwareinternetoperating systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?