The latter, analysts believe, hinder upgrades to newer Microsoft browsers because users are afraid their counterfeits will be sniffed out when they use Windows Update. In fact, that's not the case: Microsoft allows users of counterfeit Windows to install IE7 or IE8, and to receive security patches via Windows Update.
But XP does have a lock on China. In reply to questions today, Net Applications' head of marketing, Vince Vizzaccaro, confirmed that Windows XP is on 70% of China's personal computers, more than twice XP's share of 29.6% in the U.S.
Microsoft has plans to drain the pool of IE6 users even lower.
Three weeks ago, Microsoft announced it would begin to automatically upgrade IE6 and IE7 on Windows XP to IE8 this month in Australia and Brazil, and gradually expand the program in 2012 to other countries.
During the months it beat the "kill IE6" drum, Microsoft has said nothing of IE7's future, perhaps because that 2006 browser currently controls only 4.8% of the browser usage market, far below its peak of 35.9% in January 2009.
Microsoft may have some negotiating to do if it follows the advice of one commenter on Capriotti's blog, and decides to launch an IE7 deathwatch site: A Canadian man identified as Jonathan Reinink registered ie7countdown.com, as well as the ie8countdown.com and ie9countdown.com domains, last March, according to Web records. Reinink grabbed those URLs the same day Microsoft launched ie6countdown.com.
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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