Microsoft is celebrating the demise of Internet Explorer 6. It still has a small hold globally, but in the United States the archaic browser version has dropped below one percent -- which is essentially the same thing as extinct. As impressive as that is on some levels, it also means that one percent of the businesses or consumers out there are still stubbornly using IE6. Shame on you.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the one percent in the United States. While many in the 99 percent economically are upset or frustrated at the wealth disparity between then one percent and the 99 percent, being a part of the one percent is still an enviable position that few would turn down. The IE6 one percent, however, is an embarrassment that almost nobody would be willing to admit publicly.
IE6 was replaced as the flagship Microsoft Web browser more than five years ago. In an age when Chrome and Firefox are updating to new major versions every six weeks or so, and Microsoft has accelerated development to launch new major versions annually, there is just no excuse to continue using a Web browser that is more than a decade old.
So, let’s recap some of the reasons you might want to consider abandoning IE6 (finally):
Microsoft no longer supports or updates IE6. More importantly, though, many websites -- including Facebook -- have dropped support for the geriatric browser. Sites would rather just reject the handful of stubborn IE6 users than continue to try and develop sites that are compatible with it.
Internet Explorer 6 was developed before virtually any of the malware attacks that plague the Internet today even existed. Modern browsers can detect and identify potential phishing scam sites, and have mechanisms to prevent drive-by downloads. IE6 is simply not designed to protect you while you surf the way current browsers do.
Microsoft announced plans to start silently updating Internet Explorer to the current version -- similar to the way rival browsers like Chrome and Firefox automatically push out new versions. However, there are enough caveats and loopholes available that it will still be possible to stick with IE6.
Don’t do it. Embrace change. If you aren’t yet using Windows Vista or Windows 7, and you are disgruntled that IE9 isn’t an option, then feel free to switch to one of the rival browsers. Just pick something that has been released in the last two or three years at least, and join the 99 percent.
You won’t regret it.