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Online Retailer Charging Tax for Using IE7

Electronics hawker Ruslan Kogan over in Australia has decided to tack on an additional 6.8-percent tax on all goods purchased through the venerable Internet Explorer 7 (IE7).

According to Kogan, customers visiting the website with the old browser will receive a popup window first, warning of the tax and suggesting that they use a better browser to avoid the additional fee. Funds collected through the tax will be used to maintain the IE7-friendly version, he said.

"It appears you or your system administrator has been in a coma for over 5 years and you are still using IE7," reads the popup notification. "To help make the Internet a better place, you will be charged a 6.8-percent tax on your purchase from Kogan.com. This is necessary due to the amount of time required to make web pages appear correctly in IE7."

According to StatCounter, IE7 ranks at #12 in the list of Top 12 Browser Versions from December 2011 to May 2012, commanding only 2.99-percent of the worldwide market share. The browser trails behind other bottom-feeders like Firefox 3.6 (3.25-percent), Safari 5.1 (3.3-percent) and Firefox 9.0 (3.64-percent). Many web surfers still use Firefox 8.0 (4.07-percent) whereas the majority still rely on Internet Explorer 8 (17.82).

IE7 was released by Microsoft in 2006, and was the first major update to the Internet Explorer browser series in five years. By default, it was shipped within Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, but was provided as an upgrade for Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Given the browser's age, it's understandable why Kogan doesn't want to maintain compatibility without a fee. What's curious is that the browser's market share is so minute compared to IE8 and IE9, yet supporting the older browser seems to come with a huge cost for the online retailer.

"Internet Explorer 7 has long since passed its use-by date," he told The Register. "It's a constant source of frustration for our web guys and we're sick of burning cash on a browser that hit the market nearly six years ago. It's not only costing us a huge amount, it's affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the internet economy millions of dollars."

Kogan said that he is very fond of cutting "unnecessary costs out of its business model," and IE7 falls into that category. Will other sites follow his lead and force customers to use a newer, more compatible browser? We're sure Microsoft would love that immensely.

  • hmp_goose
    You've never wished for a "$20 per item service charge" for all the clowns whom come through the express lane with a packed cart?
    Reply
  • koga73
    YES all sites should start doing this.
    As a web developer trying to get something to work in IE7 is equivalent to hell.
    Reply
  • aoneone
    muahahaha netscape navigator FO life
    Reply
  • b1bekgyawali
    Damn them IE7 was legend when it first came out :)
    but Do understand the difficulty working with it as creating websites is heck of a lot easier now..

    i used to create website based 100% on "HTML" looks like i am getting too OLD
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    I worked at a place that had IE7 on the PCs, and you couldn't install anything else, including IE8
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    Fine, I'll use IE6 or maybe even IE5. FU you tax.
    Reply
  • at Shin-san sounds like you work at one broke buisness to still be using dinosaurs at work.

    No wounder why tech support calls take so long. They use stoneage Garbage of computers.
    Reply
  • DRosencraft
    It's always been a struggle for devs to manage and innovate because of people who refuse to upgrade. I suppose this is the better option for users as opposed to completely not allowing access to their site from anyone using a browser they don't like.
    Reply
  • bison88
    I sympathize with web developers and I'm all for giving Microsoft the boot anywhere when possible for breaking web standards everywhere they go due to there computing monopoly, but it does seem a little ridiculous to tax the user.

    I guess it all depends on whether they warn you before hand and give you an option or whether you only notice after the fact on the bill. I'm sure most people aren't going to pay any attention to such a notice unless it's shown strictly prior to the checkout screen before entering your info. IE started out good, but after Netscape they've just become the ultimate burden on the Internet for the past 10 years.
    Reply
  • whooleo
    Ha! The PCs at my school all still have IE7 even though I've tried to update some but those damn head techs are so lazy they hardly even install updates let alone update IE or even Firefox which is still at 3.6! I've found that school IT departments are the worst and laziest in my experiance...
    Reply