Microsoft has had to launch a publicity campaign to try and persuade customers to ‘let go’ of the, apparently, well loved, but rather dated Internet Explorer 6 web browser.

Security issues for IE6 are well know and as Bradley Anstis, vice president at M86 Security said, “From a security standpoint, there is simply no reason why anyone should be running a browser that is nearly 10 years old, as modern browsers now deploy additional security measures to help protect end users.”

Part of the campaign can be seen on the IE6 Countdown site – as is IE6’s declining stake in the global market share. After a decade it is long past the point where users should have updated to a more recent edition of Internet Explorer – and yet the IE6 still holds a 12 per cent market share.

China has 34.5 per cent of the IE6 browser market, with Korea not far behind with nearly 25 per cent. The UK report a 3.5 per cent IE6 share, with the US not far behind with 2.9 per cent.

Microsoft is stepping up the pressure on all remaining IE6 users. “Friends don’t let friends use IE6, and neither should acquaintances,” Microsoft said. “There are many benefits of upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer, improved speed, tabbed browsing and better privacy settings to name a few.”

Anstis explained how a recent Security Labs report discovered that the IE6 ActiveX vulnerability from 2006 was till the most popular target for security breaches. The simple solution – as Microsoft is pushing, is to upgrade and maintain those security patches.