September 02, 2009, 8:05 AM — Are you still using Internet Explorer 6? If so, can I ask why? The web designers of the world really want you to update to a more current browser (you'd be amazed at how much time is wasted tweaking web pages to get them to display properly in IE 6). They want IE 6 to be nothing more than a bad memory. And it turns out Microsoft agrees with them.
All web designers can do is wish and hope, but Microsoft can take a more assertive and socially responsible course of action. Last June it debuted a program called Browser for the Better. Through this program, Microsoft promised to donate $1.15 to Feeding America for every download of IE 8 from the Browser for the Better site (Microsoft positions this donation as '8 meals').
It's a great deal and everybody wins. You get a better, more secure browser, a national food bank gets a donation, web designers get to go home on time, and the web gets better for all of us.
But in case you need a bit more incentive, during Hunger Action Month (aka September) Microsoft is doubling its donation to 16 meals, or $2.30 per download. They've capped their total donation amount at $1 million; let's make sure the food banks get the full amount. Sure, I know a lot of you use Firefox, Opera or Chrome but if you're running Windows you almost certainly have IE installed (since removing it requires so much hoop jumping). May as well update it to IE 8 while doing so can do some good.
It's worth noting that you do have to download the upgrade through the Browser for the Better website in order for your download to qualify. Wouldn't it be nice if Microsoft counted all the upgrades that happened via Windows Update?