More than anything, he added, the decision by Google and others to stop supporting the nearly-nine-year-old browser marks an important step in the Web's evolution. "But it's also a great excuse to get together," he said.
"In lieu of attending, please send flowers," Toupin said in a blog entry posted yesterday.
Microsoft 's browser has weathered a "kill IE6" campaign since February 2009, when Facebook prompted IE6 users to upgrade. It accelerated last summer when Digg announced it would curtail IE6 support, and an "IE6 Must Die" Twitter petition collected thousands of names. Microsoft has endorsed the anti-IE6 efforts, going so far as to say that "Friends don't let friends use IE6," although it has refrained from forcing users or companies to upgrade to IE7 or IE8, arguing that the old browser is still required by some enterprises.
According to Web metrics firm NetApplications.com, IE6 accounted for 20% of all browsers in use last month, while IE7 and IE8 held down about 15% and 25% shares, respectively. Much of the measured IE6 usage, however, apparently originates in China, where the program represents 50% of the browsers in use. In the U.S., IE6's share is less than 10%.
Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment on the funeral, or answer questions, including whether it was sending a representative to the wake.
"We've obviously struck a chord, and maybe in some cases, a nerve," said Toupin on his blog.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com .
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