Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

Summary: Microsoft is continuing its campaign to eradicate IE 6, celebrating a new low in IE 6 usage share in the U.S.

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TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
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Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) team late last year stopped sending cakes (and cupcakes) to Mozilla to commemorate each new Firefox update. But there was cause for celebration in Redmond this week, given IE 6's usage hare dropped below 1 percent in the U.S., according to the latest Net Applications data.

(The cake pictured in the January 3 Microsoft "Exploring IE" blog post actually was from a Web camp in San Francisco at the end of 2011.)

"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," blogged Roger Capriotti, Director of Internet Explorer Marketing.

In 2011, Microsoft launched an IE 6 countdown campaign to encourage users to migrate away from IE 6. At the end of last year, Microsoft announced plans to begin pushing automatically in 2012 the latest version of IE to users via Windows Update, which the company is hoping will further erode IE 6's marketshare. (XP users will get IE 8, since IE 9 doesn't work on XP.)

While IE 6's plummeting share is good news for developers stuck supporting multiple versions of IE, I know of a number of business users who are still stuck with it because they've developed internal apps that rely on it.

Speaking of IE and marketshare, Microsoft is continuing to lose browser share, thanks largely to Google Chrome's gains. Net Applications now pegs IE's share at roughly 52 percent in terms of browser usage share, down 11 points from the start of 2011.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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14 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

    Would love to get rid of IE6 at the clinics but we ran into one problem. Printing a pdf document on a browser version greater than IE6 occasionally produces garbled text. It does not happen all the time which is why it is so hard to fix.
    david0A
    • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

      @david0A

      I'm almost certain that's an Acrobat problem.

      Either you are using too new of an Acrobat version or the source of troublesome Acrobat files is newer than the Reader you're using.

      IE does NOTHING with PDF contents. If something is messed up in a PDF, it's an Acrobat/PDF issue. IE is just a container, nothing more.
      ScottCarmichael
    • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

      @david0A
      The same thing happens on other browser versions. I often find that if one browser can't correctly print a particular page to PDF, none of them can, including IE8, IE9, the FireFox version du jour, Chrome [b][i]and [/i][/b] Safari (all on Windows), even with various PDF virtual printers. (I have about 5 different PDF virtual printers on my main machine, including Acrobat 9, PDF Converter Pro 7, DoPDF, something by DocuCom, and one or two more.)
      Rick_R
    • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

      Of course Mary Jo forgot all about China and the rest of the world. What are they at?

      ;)
      ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

        @ScorpioBlue Hopefully China (especially the government) is at about 100% so they can be hacked easily!
        rmark@...
  • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

    I'm just hoping that something like this where a specific web browser version holds internal software hostage for so freaking long doesn't happen again.

    And it's obvious that IE6 really held back the web. How many years have we lost because of it?
    Jeff Kibuule
    • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

      [i]And it's obvious that IE6 really held back the web. How many years have we lost because of it?[/i]

      Considering IE6 had a 90% monopoly back in it's early days, it's going to take a long time to die. They have until 2014, ya know.
      ScorpioBlue
    • Nothing is holding back the web

      @dagamer34 ... If anything, mobile apps on phones and tablets are consuming the attention, not the limitation of any particular browser.

      Microsoft isn't doing a good job of holding on to its market share however.
      HollywoodDog
    • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

      @dagamer34

      Big name companies/design agencies/tech companies ditched IE6 support years ago.

      Not just because IE had a bad rep, but because it didn't make sense to re-invent the wheel CSS/JS/HTML-wise for ANYTHING that is used by like 10% or less of viewers.

      Not saying we should cut the cord as quickly as, say, Apple likes to phase out its old OSs/hardware/etc. but c'mon - browsers should be supported for maybe 3-4 years max and that's only if they have 25%+ greater market share. Less popular browsers should be designed around even less.
      ScottCarmichael
  • IE8 will be the new IE6

    Since XP users can't get IE9 and so many can't be convinced to switch to Chrome, IE8 will be the thing keeping us in quirks mode and holding us back from using Canvas, SVG, and all the other HTML5 goodies.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

      @rbethell Biggest problem with Chrome (and Safari and Firefox) adoption on XP systems is a fair number of them can't run the browsers properly, due to hardware. Slow JavaScript and slow compositing are enough to make most regular users want something slow and outdated, because it just works.

      That's also why IE 8 is going to be around until no one uses XP anymore. (Too bad Microsoft can't terminate all of those thousands of licenses with a WGA alert and a "special upgrade offer" or something like that.)
      Champ_Kind
  • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

    Out with the old, in with the new IE. I'm quick to upgrade to the latest and greatest IE anyways.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • RE: Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

    Yeah, we've got apps that rely on IE 6. What a nightmare!
    dsf3g
  • IE in general is in a decline

    It's interesting to note that global share of IE (all versions), has been declining the past few years and is going to dip below 50% of the market here soon. Even though Windows still has 85-90% of the desktop market. This means that 35-40% of Windows users purposely do not use IE even though it's bundled with Windows.
    Chris_Clay