Microsoft Advising Against Use fo IE6

Microsoft has launched a publicity campaign aimed at getting people to dump its Internet Explorer 6 web browser.

The IE6 Countdown site provides a running count of the browser's current worldwide market share, highlighting IE6's dwindling stake.

Microsoft is using the site as part of a campaign to convince users to update from IE6 to more recent editions of Internet Explorer. IE6 is 10 years old, and the company is stepping up pressure on people to update.

"Friends don't let friends use IE6, and neither should acquaintances," Microsoft said. "There are many benefits of upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer, improved speed, tabbed browsing and better privacy settings to name a few."

Microsoft reported that IE6 maintains a 12 per cent market share and a large presence in Asia in particular.

The browser claims 34.5 per cent of the market in China and 24.8 per cent in Korea. India, Japan and Vietnam also reported IE6 market shares of 10 per cent or more.

IE6 has a 3.5 per cent market share in the UK and 2.9 per cent in the US.

There are major security concerns that can arise from using the outdated, yet still popular browser.

Bradley Anstis, vice president of technical strategy at M86 Security, said that the company's most recent Security Labs report found that an IE6 ActiveX vulnerability from 2006 remains the most popular target for web-based exploits.

"From a security standpoint, there is simply no reason why anyone should be running a browser that is nearly 10 years old, as modern browsers now deploy additional security measures to help protect end users," he said.

Anstis recommends that IE6 users install new versions of the browser and maintain the latest security patches.

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