Microsoft Launches New Site to Kill Off Internet Explorer 6

Posted by at 10:48 pm on March 5, 2011

Microsoft is now challenging users of one of its products to stop using it. On Friday MS posted the IE 6 Countdown page which encourages users to stop using Internet Explorer 6 and tracks the progress towards ending its use.

“This website is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers.”

In November 2010, IE6 commercial usage share as tracked by Net Applications reached an all-time low at 10.3%   While the Americas, Africa, Europe, Russia and the south Pacific were mostly clear, southeast Asia still had many clinging on. China’s tendency to cling to aging PCs meant 34.5 percent of Internet Explorer users were still using IE6, but even the Internet-centric and more prosperous South Korea still had 24.8 percent.

Along with forcing developers to write special exceptions in their websites, the browser is much less secure than newer versions. The lack of anti-phishing, sandboxing and other elements has often meant IE6 computers could be used as attack vectors for botnets, trojans and other malware by using exploits that are now a decade old.

The company’s Internet Explorer 9 is one of its more dramatic reversals. It now follows web standards from the W3C very closely and was relatively accurate even in previews. Microsoft has also focused on supporting HTML5 and the performance of web-standard JavaScript where it previously had a reputation for favoring  proprietary technologies like ActiveX.

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