Microsoft is comparing Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) to nine year old expired milk in an Australian advertising campaign urging users to upgrade.
IE6 has long been a thorn in Microsoft’s side, with the nine year old browser which was bundled with Windows XP – more than 15 percent of computers worldwide still use the browser. While some corporate users continue to run the now legacy software for compatibility reasons with their existing deployments, a small percentage of users simply do not know there is a need to upgrade their browser.
With net standards evolving constantly, and IE6 more prone to malware and virus attacks, Microsoft is urging users to upgrade to the latest version of internet explorer, IE8 with the slogan “You wouldn’t drink nine-year-old milk, so why use a nine-year-old browser?”
While comparing dairy products to software is an unusual analogy, Microsoft is readying the release of IE9 (currently in beta testing) which makes the nine year old IE6 look very dated, and provides a sub-par internet ‘experience’.
The site reads:
“When Internet Explorer 6 was launched in 2001, it offered cutting-edge security–for the time. Since then, the Internet has evolved, and the security features of Internet Explorer 6 have become outdated,” the site said, showing scary statistics about online fraud and enumerating various advantages in Microsoft’s preferred alternative, IE8.”
Microsoft is pushing the malware and phishing detection features built into IE8 as being core reasons to upgrade to the latest version.
“In a study by NSS Labs, Internet Explorer 8 caught socially engineered malware 85% of the time compared to Firefox 3’s 29%,
Safari 4’s 29% and Chrome’s 17%1.”
While the wording is at best confusing (caught rather than detected), Microsoft believes that consumers running IE8 will be better protected than those running other browsers or older versions of Internet Explorer that don’t come with the malware and phishing detection included.
This campaign is very squarely aimed at laggard consumers rather than the corporates that make up the majority of the installed IE6 customer base. However it is a novel way to encourage users to upgrade, especially as many are choosing to upgrade to other browsers such as FireFox and Google Chrome.