Harder to kill that cockroaches

About 300 millions of years ago, cockroaches appeared on Earth as a life form. I'm sure the first ones were very primitive (as it is with every life form), but at some point one specific kind of cockroach evolved, and it took over the Earth, because it was the most advanced cockroach that ever existed! This one was extremely resilient to almost everything (even radiation) and will probably outlive us all. Some variations of this insect evolved later (there are 4500 sub-species, 30 of which are related to human habitats, with specific variations by continent).

In 1990, the first web browser came to exist. It was called "World Wide Web". I'm sure it was primitive (compared with what we have today) and it spun a whole lot of new experiments. Soon we had subspecies like NCSA Mosaic (and i'm old enough to have used it), then Netscape (which i've also used), Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera and many many others. Not sure there are thousands of browser subspecies, but i would say there are at least a hundred, easily.

You probably see were this is going, but in August 2001, the most advanced species of browser appeared on Earth, and it took over the planet. It was Internet Explorer 6. There existed many subspecies (different service pack level, different language, different configuration and enabled options). Some of these subspecies were geography specific. For example, I understand that South Korea has a government mandated authentication protocol that was supported only by IE 6. There is also the chinese version of IE 6 which is used in... China.

IE 6 inherited an adaptation from it's previous primitive sibling: AJAX. It took it hidden in its DNA until it became a real evolutionary advantage, circa 2005, when evolution in behavior began, in the form of innovation. And it was a boom. It learned so many new tricks in a few years that it changed the environment forever, but it was not very well suited to this new environment. Evolution took over again, with Firefox, IE7, Chrome, etc.

When it first appeared, it was the most advanced on Earth... exactly 11 years ago, on August 27, 2001.

But 11 years in the computer industry is like some number of millions of years in evolution, and the damn thing is still lingering on, like a cockroach that refuses to die. When support was finally discontinued, Microsoft itself declared that IE 6 is a fossil, but it's a living fossil.

Not something of the past. A living fossil! Something you would expect in a Hollywood movie like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Or maybe on a Steven Spielberg movie where some scientist recovers a portion of bits from an old damaged CD-ROM and recreates it using some bits from another application.

In an effort to eradicate the thing, Microsoft created the IE6 Countdown site, to track where on the planet this species is still a pest, carrying deadly deseases to developers, businesses and users alike.

Still 6% presence, mostly in China, were it has 21% market share! I have been tracking the evolution of the fight and I'm happy to say that from June 2012 to July 2012, Argentina (where i live) crossed the barrier from 1.2% market share to less than 1% (0.9%, to be precise). Argentina it's now marked green on the map!

But is a die-hard. Even Norway (that crossed the 1% barrier long ago) can't still get rid of it, with 0.1% market share.

So, what can you do? When you see a cockroach in your kitchen don't you kill it? Do the same thing with IE6. When you see someone using it, kill it. Go to the web, search for another (any) browser, download it, install it and feel good you did a good thing for that someone.

IE 6 did good. Changed the environment to something more hospitable. Enabled an explosion. But is now past its extinction time.

This is enough to be my twelfth post.