Announced within an official post on The Windows Blog, Microsoft seems elated to relay the news that usage of the Internet Explorer 6 Web browser has dropped below one percent within the United States. Tabulated from data collected by Net Applications, the official Internet Explorer 6 C0untdown site have dropped the usage rate to 0.9 percent in the United States. While the worldwide rate of usage dropped to approximately 7.7 percent, China still leads the world in Internet Explorer 6 usage with just over a fourth of the population active on the Internet still utilizing the old version of the Web browser. South Korea is in second place with 7.2 percent still using IE6 and Japan stand in third place with 5.9 percent. 

Other countries that are under the one percent mark are entered into Microsoft’s “Champion’s Circle” and include countries like Czech Republic, Portugal, Philippines, Ukraine, Mexico, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Finland and Norway. While developers around the United States are likely applauding the fact that Microsoft’s taking a more active role in updating older versions of the Internet Explorer browser, the 0.9 percent usage rate means roughly two million people in the United States are still using the browser since the country has approximately 245 million Internet users.  

Microsoft also has reason to celebrate about Windows 7 as the operating system made gains over 2011. Windows 7 grew by approximately 13 percent since February 2011 and now takes up about 37 percent market share. Alternatively, Windows XP lost about 11 percent market share during the year and Windows Vista dropped from 11.5 percent in February 2011 to 8.4 percent in December 2011. Microsoft plans to end all support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014 and users cannot use Internet Explorer 9 without first upgrading to either Windows 7 or Windows Vista. While Microsoft still dominates the market with approximately 92 percent market share, Apple’s Mac OS X comprised about five percent of the operating system landscape.