updated 03:55 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2012
Microsoft cheers end to IE6 use
Microsoft's hopes that Internet Explorer 6 would die were partly validated after the company's Roger Capriotti noted that the decade-old browser had been reduced to irrelevance in the US. Working from data at NetApplications, he declared IE6 over as it made up just 0.9 percent of all American web traffic. The US was late, having been preceded by parts of Europe and Scandinavia, but was coming at the same time as the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Philippines, and others were also dropping below one percent.
To celebrate, the company baked itself a cake waving "goodbye" to IE6.
The Windows developer still had significant effort left in other parts of the world. China was nearly all of the company's remaining problem, as 25.2 percent of its computer users were still running IE6. Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam were also problematic, though at much smaller levels.
Microsoft's own attempt to stop use of its own browser is based mostly on hopes of driving IE9 adoption and thus getting websites to support real web standards. IE6 was at first seen as Microsoft's way of maintaining a monopoly on web browsing by using non-standard rendering that forced many to optimize their pages for Micorosoft's code. Many, including Microsoft, now consider it a liability as it both doesn't fit web standards and is missing major additions since 2001, such as HTML5.
Although celebrating, the lingering of IE6 has been blamed in part on Microsoft's own corporate philosophy. Its frequent emphasis on legacy support above all else meant that many customers weren't pressed to upgrade to later versions. Windows Vista's rough launch, high requirements, and removal of some legacy support also saw many companies and individuals skip it entirely to keep running Windows XP and IE6 for years afterwards, knowing that Microsoft would still provide official support for at least some of it.