Online Retailer Starts Charging Tax for Internet Explorer 7 Users
In an attempt to ensure that their buyers use newer web browsers, Australian online retailer Kogan has started charging a 6.8% “tax” on those who shop with older versions of Internet Explorer (IE).
Many web designers and developers complain about the extra hours spent on making their websites compatible with Internet Explorer 7 and earlier versions—a sentiment that’s apparently shared by the staff of Kogan. As explained through the retailer’s blog:
The way we’ve been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined. One of the things stopping that is our web team having to spend a lot of time making our new website look normal on IE7. This is an extremely old browser, so from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8% surcharge – that’s 0.1% for each month IE7 has been on the market.
Websites can be built in a way that they take different actions based on what web browser is used to visit them. Those who attempt to checkout from Kogan’s online store while using Internet Explorer will see a message that notifies them about the tax and pushes them to upgrade to a newer web browser:
They will also find the tax added to their final total:
Internet Explorer 7 was released back in 2006. Like its predecessor Internet Explorer 6, the web browser was criticized for being unsecure and harder to develop websites for, relative to increasingly popular alternatives like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The first issue was a side-effect of the browser’s widespread usage by default. Hackers would target Internet Explorer 7 because it was included with every copy of Windows Vista.
However, Internet Explorer 7 also failed to follow certain standards on how elements were presented on a web page: Instructions dictating the appearance and layout of items that worked properly on other browsers would fail on IE. This forced web page designers and developers to spend extra hours accommodating the so-called quirks of Internet Explorer’s presentation, because they couldn’t risk ignoring the significant business the then-dominant market share Explorer enjoyed.
The trend has reversed somewhat over the past several years, as Microsoft finally started releasing versions of IE that met the presentation standards, and Firefox and Chrome started attracting more users. Usage of IE 7 has dropped significantly. Only 1.17% of internet users in Australia use the old web browser (compared to 0.29% in the Philippines).
This entry was posted on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 11:03 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.