Now, this is surely something we must applaud – Microsoft is appealing users to dump Internet Explorer 6 browser. It has been a pain in the b***, especially for web developers, for quite a few years now. It was probably good when it came (not better than Netscape Navigator though), IE 6 is now such a out-dated browser that hardly any new web technologies are supported by it.
Over the last 3 years IE market share has gone down considerably, from 68% to 45% in the web browser market. During this time, Google Chrome has gained handsomely from 1% three years back to more than 16% today. Mozilla Firefox has been more or less stable.
Internet Explorer 6 had come out more than 10 years ago when probably there wouldn’t have been any other browser on the scene. More than 21% used this browser until last year which is around half of those who use Internet Explorer. This year the number has dropped to 12%.
IE6 has suffered from complaints of all kinds from security loopholes to malware issues to various security and virus attacks. It offers a very poor user experience and doesn’t have the basic functionalities of modern web browsers.
And Microsoft understands this more than anyone – Like others, they have also been suffering as users are unable to experience latest web apps released by them. So, to push IE towards its coffin, Microsoft has launched a site called IE 6 Countdown . They want more and more people to move to the IE9 version which has better security systems, better support for modern technologies and a good user experience compared to IE6.
A map of the world displaying the countries where IE6 is still used is put up on the website. Interestingly for most of the countries the usage is around 5% or below. But in Asian nations like China and South Korea, it is pretty high because of the thousands of computers with pirate Windows systems. Some companies and organizations still use it because many applications like YouTube, Facebook etc. don’t open on this platform preventing employees from accessing such sites.
Though this move which involves asking people to put up banners on their sites asking people to move beyond IE6 and talk about its flaws is a good initiative, it can have an opposite effect. If people think IE6 is too bad, they wouldn’t even want to go to IE9 and instead move to Google Chrome which is the fastest growing web browser in the market today.
So it’s a double edged sword for them. What do you think?