Microsoft has for some time now agreed that running Internet Explorer 6.0 is not such a good idea for individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, the world's largest software company has had little success in moving folks over to newer and more secure iterations of its Web browser.
Amy Barzdukas, the general manager for Internet Explorer, summed up the delicate situation succinctly, noting that IE 6 was "fine technology" back when it was released, more than eight years ago. But as any system administrator or IT manager will attest, problems with IE 6 abound, ranging from an endless stream of security-related issues or with the non-compliant manner in which it renders Web pages. In a nutshell, nobody should be using IE 6 anymore if they can help it. Some would argue that even newer versions of Internet Explorer should be avoided.
The aged browser accounts for some 27 percent of the browser market. On the other hand, the newer IE 7 commands 23 percent while Microsoft's latest and greatest, IE 8, has a 12 percent slice of the market. To put things into perspective, Mozila Firefox 3.0 is used by only 16 percent of users while Google Chrome has slightly more than 2 percent. CNET News has the statistics summed up in a nice chart that you can see here.
Part of the reason behind IE 6's incredible tenacity is that it comes with Windows XP, very much the choice of netbooks and low-cost computer makers until relatively recently. Beyond that, reasons for not switching browsers vary. Another possible factor could be businesses running older or obsolete computers that cannot be upgraded. (I am looking at you, SMBs.)
Whatever the case, Microsoft has kicked off a campaign to promote IE 8 as a better choice for Web browsing. As you would expect, the target audience is not businesses, but users who are simply not tech-savvy enough to upgrade to something newer. The campaign is designed to run through June 2010, and it starts off with a video aimed at online holiday shoppers.
You know what? Perhaps it might be a good idea to get more people to watch it. You can catch the video here.