Microsoft begs users to stop running IE6

Microsoft has launched another salvo in its campaign to hammer the final nail into the coffin of an outdated, insecure product: Internet Explorer 6.

The problem with Internet Explorer 6 is that Microsoft no longer supports it, and the creaky old web browser simply doesn’t provide anything approaching a sufficient level of defence as severely critical vulnerabilities have been left unpatched.

A new website,, attempts to convince users of the reasons why they should upgrade to a more secure version of the web-browsing software, and provides information for organisations on how they can best migrate.

What I found particularly interesting, however, was a graphic of the world showing the percentage of browser marketshare Internet Explorer 6 has in each country.

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Internet Explorer 6 countdown

India, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Vietnam are all doing a poor job of choosing a hardened web browser, with IE6 responsible for ten percent or more of the browser usage in those countries.

But the worst country by miles is China, where – according to Microsoft – Internet Explorer 6 accounts for over a third of the browser usage. Hmm, I wonder how much of that is related to pirated copies of the software that users have chosen not to replace with legitimate later versions?

Anyway, this is a good campaign by Microsoft – and although it is clearly designed to switch people to Internet Explorer 9, anything which encourages computer users to throw its ageing predecessor IE6 in the garbage bin has to be applauded.

I was rather tickled by the way Microsoft phrased it on their official Twitter account:

Make Microsoft’s day – help them kill off Internet Explorer 6.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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