Microsoft Finally Says Goodbye to IE 6 in the U.S.

There's a good chance Microsoft as a whole is popping open the champagne bottles and tooting leftover New Year's Day horns, as the company has finally succeeded in pushing the masses into ditching Internet Explorer 6.

The company has for years literally begged consumers to update older versions of Internet Explorer, warning that it would reduce the (high) risk of acquiring viruses and other malicious malware. The company even just recently introduced a feature in Windows Update that will automatically update Internet Explorer, seemingly pushing users into staying current rather than ignoring browser revisions and risking infection.

But now the company employees are seemingly dancing in the streets, as the official U.S.-based Internet Explorer 6 numbers have rolled in, and they report well below 1-percent. Worldwide, the number still hovers just below 8-percent as of December 2011, with China serving as the biggest IE6 offender followed by South Korea and Japan. Norway has the least number of IE6 users followed by Finland and the United States.

For the record, Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421 is the latest official release from Microsoft as of this writing.

"IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we’ve been as eager as anyone to see it go away," writes Roger Capriotti, Director of Internet Explorer Marketing. "In fact, we launched the IE6 Countdown site last March to help accelerate the process. Less than a year later, I’m thrilled to say that the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in dropping below 1-percent usage of IE6."

"In addition, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, Portugal and the Philippines are also entering the Champions’ Circle," he added. "We hope this means more developers and IT Pros can consider IE6 a “low-priority” at this point and stop spending their time having to support such an outdated browser."

Consumers still using Internet Explorer 7 or older should head here and install the latest version. Features include support for HTML5, hardware acceleration, a faster start-up time and more. It will be like a brand new internet!

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  • refraction
    I bet they dont take in to account those who are still using Windows 2000 or below, where IE6 is the most recent one that microsoft supply. I know personally they shouldnt be using it anymore but many businesses still do as the OS isnt that important to them, but they still browse the web.

    I bet if they cut these folks out, it would be less than 1% worldwide.
  • raotor
    I still use IE6 and like it!

    The main problem I have with "updated" browsers is usually one of clutter
    and lack of accessibility. Let me explain, as a visually impaired person I
    was able to use IE6 because of the Accessibility options which - for me -
    allowed my browser to ignore the colours used by web sites and allowed me to
    instead use my high-contrast black background Windows scheme throughout my
    browsing experience. In addition, IE6 was simple from a visual standpoint. I
    could eliminate the on-screen buttons I didn't need and have those that I
    actually needed present , large and simple to see.

    I recently tried both Google Chrome and Firefox, but both "modern" browsers
    do not appear to have any support for the above mentioned accessibility
    options etc. Instead,what I often find is displays with lots of tiny icons
    dotted around which means that unless you are familiar with the icons you
    have to resort to the mouse-pointer hovering over said icon technique in
    order to find out what this button does.

    In addition, I've found that both Chrome and Firefox (as far as I can tell)
    do not allow the flexibility of "out dated" IE6 does when it comes to
    customizing where you'd like your temporary Internet files etc to be stored.
    It seems that the world now assumes that we all dump everything into a
    single-partitioned C: drive. I, for one, still like the "old fashioned"
    flexibility of deciding where I want such temporary files to go. My wife who
    uses Chrome on her laptop recently kept running out of space on her C: drive
    (even though she has a large D:, E: and F: drives available) because Chrome
    seems to keep enourmous amounts of history. We had to repeatedly pirge this
    history via Chromes relevant tool, but it just kept growing. Finally I had
    to resort to removing all history and cache upon exit in order to fix this
    issue. Under IE6 I can designate where they are stored and how big they are
    allowed to get.

    IE7, 8 and now 9 (Windows 7 only for this one I believe) appear to have gone
    down the route of "top heavy" browsers where browsing simplicity has all but
    gone in favour of being able to have umpteen tabs open so that you can flit
    from site to site and be doing a dozen other things all at once.

    If anyone can point me to a new browser that offers all the options that my
    humble IE6 does then I would be all too happy to "upgrade".