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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Outdated Browser Causes Problems

Last month, more than 300 visitors viewed the Midwest Tape website via outdated browser software. Microsoft originally released Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) in August, 2001; its successor, IE7, released in October, 2006.1 Thus, IE6 users are viewing the Internet with software that’s been obsolete for nearly five years.

Why Upgrade?
If you’re still using IE6, don’t worry: we’re not here to judge, and you’re not alone by any means. As of June of this year, IE6 still accounts for 3.72% of all U.S. web traffic.2 But there’s an effort to change that, encouraging users to upgrade to newer browsing software; interestingly enough, it’s being led by Microsoft itself.3

There are any number of reasons to upgrade, features and security being chief among them. What’s likely most relevant, though, is that many websites have evolved to where they’re no longer compatible with IE6. Midwest Tape is among them; we wrote in September of 2009 that our website had outgrown IE6. We strive to have the best and most user-friendly website for librarians, and IE6 is no longer capable of supporting the technology it takes to provide such an online experience.

What Are My Options?
Fortunately, there are a slew of web browsers that can handle the rapidly evolving, most cutting-edge websites of today. There’s no single right answer; it’s simply a matter of finding one that meets your needs and that you feel comfortable using.

Internet Explorer continues to be the most popular choice, currently holding nearly 53% of the browser market share.4 It’s currently on version 8 (IE8), or 9 (IE9) if you’re running the Windows 7 operating system. To download the current version of Internet Explorer, visit

Or, if you’re so inclined, take one of these other popular browsers for a spin.
Mozilla Firefox:
Google Chrome:
Apple Safari:

To aid you in your decision, Top Ten Reviews offers comparisons and reviews for the top ten browsers. If you’re a fan of a particular browser, give us your recommendation in the comments below.


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