The most recent data from analytics firm StatCounter indicates that Internet Explorer 6, Microsoft’s outdated but resilient Web browser, may finally be on the way out. StatCounter’s Global Stats division reports that usage of IE6 in the U.S. and Europe fell below the five percent mark for the first time ever in the month of May 2010. The 4.7-percent usage was based on 15 billion page views and was down from 11.5 percent at this time last year.
IE6 has avoided extinction despite the subsequent releases of Internet Explorer 7 — third in the U.S. with a market share of 16.64 percent; and Internet Explorer 8 — first with a 30.49-percent share. Firefox 3.6 is the second most-used browser in the U.S. with 19.8 percent of the share, according to StatCounter’s data, while Google Chrome 4.0 held a 6.5-percent share.
IE6 was the dominant browser with a 90-percent market share in 2002 and 2003, and it has maintained an unusually long lifespan as some large global corporations continue to use it. But support for IE6 has been dropped by YouTube and other major Internet services, further indicating that the end is officially near.