Internet Explorer 6, Alive By The Hand of IT Departments
WESTBOROUGH, 4/23/2010 – IT departments are preventing Internet Explorer 6 from fading away, according to a study by online ad network Chitika. The study looked at the hour-by-hour market share of the top Internet browsers, and found that IE6 drops from 13% of all browser usage during the daytime to less than 6% after business hours, highlighting the corporate world’s role in the decade-old browser’s continued survival.
Launched in 2001 with Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6 has long been a bastion of corporate IT departments. Despite its reputation as a security nightmare, its wide market share over the past decade and its inclusion as default web browser in XP has helped fuel its surprising longevity. Web developers, perhaps sick of the extra effort necessary to design IE6-compliant sites, held a virtual ‘funeral’ for it in March, but it continues to hold a market share similar to or higher than advanced browsers like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome.
Looking at the hourly market share is particularly telling. Between 5AM and 2PM Central time, Internet Explorer 6 holds fairly steady at about 13% of all Web traffic. After 2PM, however, the usage of IE6 drops off significantly, mirrored by a rise in the usage of Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft’s latest, Internet Explorer 8.
“It almost looks like individual Internet users are more tech-advanced at home than the IT departments where they work,” says Alden DoRosario, Chitika’s CTO. “It’s crazy to think that people whose job description revolves around employees having secure ways to browse the Web would keep IE6 alive, while these same employees go home to more secure browsers.”
When broken down on a day-by-day basis, a similar pattern emerges: Monday through Friday, IE6 is the fourth most used browser. On weekends, it loses almost half of its market share to Firefox and IE8.
Chitika, Inc., is a search-based online advertising network, leading the way in intent-based advertising and search engine insights. Chitika provides publishers with an innovative way to monetize search engine traffic, and advertisers a new way of generating leads with clear consumer intent. With over 60,000 sites and 2 billion monthly impressions, the Chitika network is the pulse of the online world. Through research and targeting, Chitika continually evolves its image as “the ad network that knows when not to show ads.” For more information, visit https://chitika.com
Research Director, Online Insights
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What utter nonsense! In my experience it is more in corporate environments where 3rd party apps etc cannot run in IE7+, and rather than “keeping it alive”, they tend to give up on the battle to get *business owners* and other parties to port their applications. Is it the fault of the IT people that Firefox and others are not used more either? So whilst the results might be interesting, the conclusion is far from accurate.
I work for an IT company developing web portals. It’s really funny how much we suffer from IE6, yet at the same time, until very recently, were dependent on it for our own intranet apps. (And we’re still introducing apps that only run in Internet Explorer, albeit the current versions!)
Of course other browsers were available to all of us, so it’s still the user’s choice to use IE6 for the real web. I don’t think the day versus evening share difference really is caused by the IT department, it’s caused by inexperienced users that probably don’t use the web at home, at all.
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About Chitika Insights
Chitika Insights was the research arm of online advertising network Chitika. Insights used Chitika's unique data to monitor and report on Internet trends - search engines, clickthrough rates, the mobile war, and more.
Additionally, the Chitika Insights team monitored the day's tech news closely, and provided an in-depth, data-driven commentary on the latest breaking news. Our studies and data have been featured prominently in major publications, such as The New York Times, Forbes, Barrons and about 3000+ respected publications.
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What’s obvious to most IT pros is apparently not to the authors of this self-serving, publicity-seeking “study.” Many legacy applications work only in IE6, both in-house apps as well as some from vendors who no longer support them (or even still exist). Rewriting applications or writing new ones is time-consuming and expensive in a time when companies are are slashing, not increasing, IT staff.