Corporate IT just won't let IE6 die

New online research shows ongoing use of IE6

Security experts, industry analysts and even Microsoft recommend that IT departments upgrade Internet Explorer 6, yet new research shows that while there may have recently been a mock funeral for the aging browser, IE6 is still around and doing well, especially during standard business hours.

Chitika, a search-based online advertising network, conducted a study recently to learn the hour-by-hour market share of some of the leading Internet browsers. The study showed that IE6 ranked fourth among all browsers, grabbing 13% of usage during what many consider peak business hours. The data suggests that IE6 is being used at work, between the hours of 5 a.m. and 2 p.m., CST. After hours, the browser usage drops to 6% of all Web traffic. The same pattern emerges when comparing weekdays to weekend days, according to the research.

The data also reveals that when IE6 usage drops, competitive browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari (as well as Microsoft's IE8) experienced an increase in usage, accounting for a greater percentage of all Web traffic than during work hours on week days.

"It almost looks like individual Internet users are more tech-advanced at home than the IT departments where they work," said Alden DoRosario, Chitika's CTO, in a statement. "It's crazy to think that people whose job description revolves around employees having secure ways to browse the Web would keep IE6 alive, while these same employees go home to more secure browsers."

IE6 shipped in summer 2001 with the introduction of Microsoft's Windows XP. The company is currently working on its latest browser revision, IE9, which is set to include support for Web standards such as HTML5.

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Denise Dubie

Network World
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