Web developers, designers and users rejoice: Internet Explorer 6 use is quickly on the decline. Even Microsoft, the company that released Internet Explorer 6 more than a decade ago, has joined in on the celebration.
"Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we're in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it's time to say goodbye," writes the company on a website it launched today to track the browser's demise.
"This website is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers," writes Microsoft.
As part of its countdown, Microsoft released a detailed map of where the browser is still being used the most.
For the most part, Internet Explorer 6 falls well below 5% for many countries. The problem, it seems, is in Asia. China tops the list of problem countries, with 34%, while South Korea comes in with around 25%, followed by a number of countries in the region at around 10%. IE6 only accounts for 3% of browser usage in the U.S., while both Norway and Finland lead the world with under 1% each.
Why do people still use the now ancient browser? Some companies actually use it as a form of control. Websites like Facebook and YouTube are not accessible using IE6, meaning employees can't mess around while they're on the job.
But why is the browser so popular in countries like China and South Korea? According to Download Squad's Sebastian Anthony, it could be a result of piracy. "China is notorious for its number of pirate Windows installs, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even claiming that as 9 in 10 copies of Windows in China are pirated," writes Anthony. Nonetheless, even usage there has dropped dramatically, with IE6 falling from more than 50% last August to 35% today.