IE 6 is Finally Dead. Long Live IE9 (Please?)

Microsoft succeeds in doing what Mozilla and the DoJ couldn't do. However, it probably isn't too thrilled with what's happening to IE9.

After begging, pleading, and nearly coming to people's houses to bust their kneecaps, Microsoft has gotten its wish: Internet Explorer 6, which just passed its 10th birthday, is now as dead as the Zune.In fact, Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer marketing (why does a free product that's part of Windows 7 have a director of marketing?) opened his blog post this way: "Time to pop open the champagne because, based on the latest data from Net Applications, IE6 usage in the US has now officially dropped below 1%!"Microsoft has tried desperately to get people off IE6. It was behind the times when it came to Web technology back when it shipped in 2001 and ten years later it was nothing but a massive security risk.The company launched a program last year to encourage people to migrate to a newer browser, IE8 if you were still on XP, IE9 if you used Windows 7. Finally, the company said no more Mr. Nice Guy and said it would push the latest version out via Windows Update starting this year, whether you asked for it or not.This is hardly a victory for Microsoft. First, it's continuing to lose browser share, mostly to Google Chrome. Net Applications puts IE's share of the desktop market at 52 percent, down 11 points from a year ago. Google's aggressive push has put it almost on par with Firefox, which slipped 1 percent, to 21 percent share. Chrome now sits at 19 percent.Finally, I can't help but wonder what all this fragmentation of IE will do for developer support. Internet Explorer 10 is now designed to work only with Windows 8. So you will have a scenario where you have XP users on IE8, Windows 7 users on IE9 and Windows 8 users on IE10. That could easily result in a situation like Mozilla, where its new-version-a-month strategy just made developers throw up their hands and walk away.In that case, may I recommend Pale Moon?

Microsoft even held an event for it, as the pictures show. He added "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% usage of IE6."

On the mobile side, Microsoft isn't even a presence. Apple's Safari owns a full 53 percent of the mobile market, which makes sense since it has 52 percent of the mobile OS market, according to Net Applications. Android is third, behind Java ME, with 16 percent of the mobile browsing market. Microsoft has just 0.41 percent.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in