Microsoft calls IE6 'spoiled milk'

Spoiled Milk campaign from Microsoft

The campaign to rid the internet of Microsoft's ancient Internet Explorer 6 browser has had an unlikely boost from Microsoft itself.

A Microsoft Australia site has not only encouraged users to upgrade to IE8 from the nine-year-old browser, but compared it to spoiled milk.

"Do you know someone who would drink nine-year-old milk? It's unlikely. But the chances are you do know someone who uses Internet Explorer 6 or has been a victim of online threats. Or will be," the site said.

IE6 like Spoiled Milk, says Microsoft

The Australian site also admitted that IE6 wasn't the best browser on offer any more, naturally advising an upgrade to its own IE8.

"When Internet Explorer 6 was launched in 2001, it offered cuttingedge security for the time. Since then, the internet has evolved and the security features of Internet Explorer 6 have become outdated," the site claimed.

"With the latest stateoftheart security features, Internet Explorer 8 is designed to cope with today's modern cyber crime," it added.

Still popular...

Despite its advanced years, IE6 is still remarkably popular, and was only just knocked out of top spot by IE8 this February.

According to Net Applications, Internet Explorer as a whole has just shy of 60 per cent of the market, with IE8 pulling in just under 25 per cent and IE6 holding 18 per cent - meaning the aged software is used by nearly a fifth of the market.

One big slice of that market is made up of organisations - including the UK government - which feel they can't upgrade because their own ancient systems won't support a newer browser, or because specific software requires IE6 to work.

Campaigners have been trying to kill off the browser because it makes coding more difficult and expensive for web developers - who have to create applications and sites which work for cutting edge tech as well as the nine-year-old browser - but also because IE6 is seen as insecure and has been hit by a series of flaws this year.

Despite the spoiled milk campaign in Australia, Microsoft has previously refused to kill off the old browser itself, saying it wants to give users a choice.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft UK told IT PRO it was already running its own advertising campaign. "Microsoft has long encouraged users to move to IE8 as it is faster, easier and safer than IE6. Microsoft Australia has launched an innovative campaign to take that message out."