Internet Explorer 6 Finally Dead: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has finally declared Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) dead. Internet Explorer 6 is considered to be one of the most dangerous web browsers to use online because it is easily exploitable and can become easily infected with malware (with can lead to identify theft, or worse).

Internet Explorer 6 first debuted way back in 2001, the same year Microsoft released its Windows XP operating system (OS). The five years that followed were IE's heyday, with Microsoft's hold on the browser market its strongest ever.

Today, statistics reveal that fewer than 1 per cent of American Internet users are still surfing with the decade-old browser, while all versions of IE are used by fewer than half of all users.

Microsoft: IE6 the "Punchline" of Browser Jokes

As early as 2006, Microsoft was encouraging IE6 users to upgrade to IE7. Since then, hackers regularly discovered and exploited security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 6, which only increased Microsoft's insistence that users discard the old browser.

"IE6 has been the punchline of browser jokes for a while, and we've been as eager as anyone to see it go away," said Microsoft executive, Roger Capriotti. (Source:

To further the switch away from IE6, last year Microsoft launched a website that described the browser's problems and encouraged its demise. Microsoft even offered developers some code for web pages that would issue warnings to visitors using Internet Explorer 6.

"You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer," the message reads. "For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today." (Source:

Later, Microsoft launched IE6 Countdown, which tracked the number of people still using IE6. The site has received well over five million page views since it was launched, and Microsoft believes that's evidence its message is being received.

IE6: Big Challenge Lies Outside U.S.

The recent report from industry analyst Net Applications, revealing that IE6 is now used by only 1 per cent of Americans, is seen by many at Microsoft as evidence its mission to kill IE6 has been accomplished.

"We've been expecting this any day now and we've had a great time sharing a few drinks and toasts with you in anticipation of this moment," Capriotti noted. (Source:

Unfortunately, about 7.7 per cent of global users still use Internet Explorer 6. Microsoft's remaining challenge is to get people in other countries to abandon its "problem child" browser. (Source:

Meanwhile, progress marches on: Microsoft has recently initiated previews of Internet Explorer 10, which some experts believe could be released later this year.

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