Microsoft is throwing itself a little party to celebrate the demise of Internet Explorer 6. Based on the latest data from Net Applications, the much-maligned browser recently fell below 1 percent in the United States, which prompted the IE Team to celebrate with a cake on IE 6’s grave, as it were.
Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer marketing, writes, “IE 6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we’ve been as eager as anyone to see it go away.”
The U.S. joins Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in the less-than-1-percent category and several more nations are not far behind. Microsoft also recently announced that it would begin forcing IE updates for those that have opted into automatic Windows Updates, which should help further reduce the number of both IE 6 and IE 7 users.
Unfortunately for web developers the worldwide browser market share picture is not quite as bright. Internet Explorer 6 still has a considerable user base in China, where it tops 25 percent, and much of the rest of Asia hovers in the 5 percent range.
The other bad news is that despite the demise of IE 6, compensating for the shortcomings in both IE 7 and IE 8 remain necessary parts of a web developer’s job. And, given that Windows XP users will never be able to upgrade beyond IE 8, IE 8 will likely take IE 6’s place as the official pain in the ass of web developers everywhere.
Photo from the Windows Team Blog