Microsoft has taken the step of creating a new site IE6countdown.com to bring awareness and reduce the usage of the old Internet Explorer version 6 (IE6) across the world. The main page shows a world chart and market penetration (if you want to call it that) of the IE6 browser. Microsoft has been pushing web surfers to upgrade to a newer browser, hopefully IE9, which is slated to be released from beta later this month. Overall, usage share was down to 12% across the world.
Deep concentration in China implies that many of the Chinese are old school, but there are also many pirated versions of Windows used there. Some newer social networking sites can’t be used on IE6, and this could be a mechanism wherein the ruling Communist party can prevent the use of these sites that could otherwise amass a large following and lead to protests, like we’ve seen the last couple of months in the Middle East and North Africa. Norway and Finland are the early adopters, yielding a usage share of 0.7% each.
Aside from the geographic patterns, there still remain many applications built using IE6 that weren’t designed for newer browser versions. Upgrading would likely cause these applications to break, or at least lose a significant amount of functionality.