Almost two years ago I posed about Microsoft encouraging users to upgrade from IE6 due to security vulnerabilities. In an effort to educate users and encourage them to upgrade, they created www.ie6countdown.com. According to a recent post on the Windows Team Blog, "the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in dropping below 1% usage of IE6" (emphasis mine). Global usage is at 7.7%, mainly due to its widespread use in China (25%). Although IE6 usage has dropped off significantly, Internet Explorer is still a very popular browser.
We're seeing an opposite trend with mobile devices growing - according to the same source, mobile hits account for more than 7.7% of web traffic and continues to grow. Because of this rapid growth, many businesses are creating mobile versions of their site as well as custom apps that visitors can install on their phones for a richer experience.
I'm glad that people are upgrading to safer standards-compliant versions. For web design and development firms, IE 8 & 9 are much easier to support than version 6, which means they can put more effort into creating rich, intuitive sites using the latest in web technologies (like HTML5). These technologies are also supported on many mobile devices; visitors can get the full site experience whether they're at their desk or on the go. And when it comes time for an organization to create a mobile site, the existing codebase can be reused which reduces development costs while still providing a rich mobile experience.