In news that is sure to excite some, possibly upset others, and leave everyone else feeling an emotion that is somewhere between nostalgia and relief, Microsoft is officially bidding a fond farewell to Internet Explorer 6.

According to data from Net Applications, IE6?s market share in the United States has just dropped under the 1% mark, a milestone that is enough reason for the Windows Team to announce a time of death.

Here’s what the IE team had to say in a blog post:

IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we’ve been as eager as anyone to see it go away. In fact, we launched the IE6 Countdown site last March to help accelerate the process. Less than a year later, I’m thrilled to say that the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in dropping below 1% usage of IE6. In addition, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, Portugal and the Philippines are also entering the Champions’ Circle. We hope this means more developers and IT Pros can consider IE6 a “low-priority” at this point and stop spending their time having to support such an outdated browser.

The folks at Microsoft are obviously ecstatic to see IE6 go, but it’s rather amusing to see just how happy they are. Bubbly, cake, and puns – all employed to celebrate the “demise” of the decade-old browser that, according to the data, 7.7% of the world still uses as of December 2011.

It is truly amazing that so many people are still using IE6. Unsurprisingly, the worst offender is China, with a reported 25.2% of internet users still browsing on IE6.

There are currently 12 countries who have gained membership to the aforementioned Champions’ Circle (those reaching under 1% total usage of IE6). The U.S. just joined the Czech Republic, Portugal, Philippines, Ukraine, Mexico, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

Microsoft hopes that this means more people are switching over to more modern browsers like IE8 and IE9. Are you still a Internet Explorer user? Or do you prefer Firefox, Chrome, or another “modern” browser? Let us know in the comments.

(Originally posted at by:  Josh Wolford)
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