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YouTube Strikes a Blow to Internet Explorer 6

ie6Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), from Microsoft, has been around for more than eight years. For most of its life, IE6 has been one of the most popular browsers used to access the web. That is, until Google's YouTube announced in mid-July, that they would soon stop supporting the aging browser. Once IE6 users discovered that one of the most visited websites on the planet would no longer support their browser, usage of IE6 dropped like a rock.

IE6 was already dying a slow death. In the months leading up to YouTube's announcement, the browser was losing about 1% market share each month. By June, 2009, the IE6's market share had fallen to 24%. Web enthusiasts, looking to have the web move beyond the 2001 technology built into IE6, began campaigns to hasten the demise of this once dominant browser, hoping that the web could move into a new era based upon more up-to-date web standards.

On July 14th, 2009, YouTube began displaying a message to anyone visiting the website using IE6 stating that their browser would no longer be supported.

YouTube-IE6

In addition to the announcement, YouTube included links to download three different web browsers.

YouTube-Browser-options

In the month and half after YouTube began displaying the announcement, IE6's market share dropped 10%.

IE6-Market-Share

(source: http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php)

The browser's market share decline from 24% to 14% means that approximately 41% of IE6 users, changed browsers following YouTube's announcement.

YouTube's simple announcement has done more to hasten the decline of IE6, than any prior effort. When IE6's market share drops below 10%, it's influence on future website development will likely be history.