As difficult as it is to believe, many people are still using Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) -- which launched way back in 2006 -- to browse the internet.
Microsoft itself has attempted to ween users off its antiquated browser, going so far as to create a countdown webpage dedicated to moving people off IE7. Despite these efforts, IE7 still remains the browser of choice for approximately 4% of Australians.
Online retailer Kogan Technologies has had enough of these stragglers -- and it's willing to hit their wallets in an attempt to force them into upgrading.
Starting today, Kogan will charge customers a 6.8% "IE7 tax" when they purchase a Kogan product using the Internet Explorer 7 browser.
Move over lotto; a new tax on stupidy is in town.
"Our web team [has] to spend a lot of time making our new website look normal on IE7," explains Kogan Technologies' founder Ruslan Kogan on his blog. "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."
To avoid the 'tax', customers using IE7 are invited to upgrade to an up-to-date version of Internet Explorer, or one of its various competitors such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera.
According to Kogan, IE7 is having a detrimental effect on its business and is costing the Internet economy "millions" of dollars due to the extra, unnecessary dev time a site requires.
While we don't hold much sympathy for people using IE7, we can't help wondering whether Kogan's scheme is 100% legal when it comes to consumer rights. It seems odd to financially punish customers based on their personal browser choice. (Using the word 'tax' for what is basically a publicity stunt also raises a few questions).
Nonetheless, if Kogan manages to transport a few more people out of 2006, we suppose we can't complain too much.