Internet Explorer 6 is a problem for web developers - it is not only outdated it is non-standard and buggy. Microsoft is keen to persuade IE6 users to upgrade and is asking websites to join its campaign.
The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown website has been set up to monitor progress towards moving users off IE6, a browser that is now 10 years old and well past its sell-by date. If you are an IE6 user you might wonder what all the fuss is about - why shouldn't you stick with an older model?
If you are a web developer you will be in full agreement with Microsoft - IE6 causes headaches as it isn't standard and causes web pages to behave differently but because it is still used by a small proportion of users you have to support it.
So the aim is to reduce IE6 usage to less than 1% and then developers will no longer have to support it.
The map on the IE6 Countdown Website shows the worldwide distribution and also has an alphabetical country list. China has the largest number of IE6 users - 34.6% followed by South Korea at 24.8%. The countries in the over 10-20% band are India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan and those in the 5-10% band are Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Thailand and Venezuela.
Microsoft's aim is that the whole world should be in the green - fewer than 1% of users still on IE6 - and so far only Norway and Finland have achieved this.
So what's to be done?
Microsoft's strategies are to discourage your friends from using IE6 by telling them why they should move, share the message by Tweeting for websites to display a banner only to IE6 users:
I-Programmer has done this so if you see this banner on the site rather than just here then please upgrade your browser and help to free the web from IE6.
Currently nearly 5% of IProgrammer visitors use IE6 and we too would like to see a figure of less than 1% in order to implement new features that it doesn't support.
Of course Microsoft hasn't helped by making its newer versions of IE only run under the latest operating systems. What is a Windows 98 user supposed to upgrade to - a new machine and Window 7 seems to be Microsoft's answer. Even Windows XP users can only upgrade to IE8. For a full HTML5 experience XP users need Firefox or Chrome.
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