Microsoft Tries Its Darndest to Bid Internet Explorer 6 Adieu

By  |  Friday, March 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

It’s weird: In terms of durability and the sheer numbers of people who have used it, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 is one of the most successful software products of all time. But between its security holes and its poor compatibility with Web standards, it’s also one of the most headache-inducing applications ever–not just for the people who use it, but for those who build sites and strive to keep the Internet safe. And in early 2011–nearly a decade after IE 6 shipped with Windows XP–it’s a product from another era. Yet NetApplications says that 12 percent of Internet users worldwide are still running it.

These days, Microsoft has at least as much reason as anyone else to try and close the books officially on the IE 6 era: It doesn’t want to support it and would prefer that IE 6 holdouts upgrade to a newer Microsoft browser running on a newer Microsoft operating system. So the company has launched an Internet 6 Countdown site, with stats on IE6’s current usage and a stated mission of driving usage down to under 1 percent.

You Technologizer visitors are doing your part–over the past month, .8 percent of you have arrived via IE6. It’s been an atypical month here: Usually, Internet Explorer is the #2 browser after Firefox, but over the past 30 days it’s been #3, a couple of points behind Safari–and nearly tied with Chrome. It might be a statistical blip. But if it isn’t, and Chrome continues to surge, IE could fall to fourth place.

For you guys, the most interesting IE question isn’t when IE6 will drop off the map–it’s whether Internet Explorer 9 will get usage of Microsoft browsers growing again, particularly among Web-savvy sorts who also know all about Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. It’s easily the best new IE since the 1990s, so it has a shot at winning some IE expatriates back. Any thoughts from those of you who are using it (or tried it and went back to whatever you were running beforehand)?


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. johnwbaxter Says:

    Are your Safari visitors running it on Mac (which makes sense) or are lots of them running it on Windows (to which the obvious query is "why?")?

    Wow…I can't recall typing–corectly I think–the sequence ?")? before.

  2. Phil Says:

    "Wow…I can't recall typing–corectly I think–the sequence ?")? before."

    LOL 🙂

  3. Gabriel Says:

    Totally in favor of this initiative. WinXP and IE6 have been like a double-edged sword for Microsoft. Every company wants to put out a good product, but when it's so good that people still want to use it ten years later, it can create a lot of headaches.

    Have you seen the banner that Microsoft suggests webmasters display, though? It looks like a malware ad. I would never click it.

  4. Dave Barnes Says:

    I have a customer.
    14% of all visitors arrive via IE6.
    My customer is completely focused on LARGE USA corporations.
    But, 14%.

  5. halesowenscoutband Says:

    I was a FF user for a good while… then it started to get slower and slower to load, and IE8 was 'Good Enough" and fast to load. I now switch between IE9 beta and Chrome, with just a copy of FF on my machine purely for testing problem pages

  6. The_Heraclitus Says:

    I dropped IE6 Many years ago and switched to FF. A couple years ago went to Chrome. IE6 was and is a malware writers dream. ~'04 I was so vehement in my opposition to what I called Internet Exploder that MS contacted me and asked if, "I could tone it down while they worked on "7".

  7. Paul Says:

    I think we have a couple of people at the office that run IE 6 and one of those two people run it because they have Windows 2K – the other one is an xp box that never got updated. I was pretty focussed on getting people upgraded to IE7 or IE8 – IE7 is required for one of our web apps for a few people.

    I find it pretty rare to see ie6 anywhere.

  8. Sleepydude Says:

    I work for a global financial institution that still uses IE6. We received new PCs this week. They came preloaded with Windows 7. They wiped the drives and loaded Windows XP on them. Some of the programs we use may not be compatible with Windows 7 but I think the main reason is that a lot of the intranet applications only work with IE6. We are supposed to upgrade to Windows 7 in the near future. That has never happened before. We usually get a new operating system with a new PC.

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