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.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags applicationsMicrosoftWindowsbrowserssoftwareoperating systemsinternet

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?