Using Internet Explorer is more taxing than you think

Australian-based online electronics store Kogan has fired off an ingenius web site press stunt. The retailer adds 6.8 percent extra -- the "Internet Explorer 7 Tax" -- to online purchases made using the browser. Note this is only for customers who use IE 7 browser, not version 8 or later.

In a day and age when web standards compliance is king, Kogan comes out swinging. The company states that taking the extra time to develop for IE7 hurts the bottom line -- not just for its operations but for customers. Kogan wants customers to use modern browsers that support web standards. Many older browsers don't support new standards and technology.

When someone enters the site using any version of Internet Explorer, Kogan greets customers with a shadowbox popup explaining the issues of standards compliance on web browsers and website development. The gist: Lack of standards in a browser forces forked development -- making writing reliable web store fronts difficult across so many platforms of browsers. Right under that message Kogan links to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Opera browsers.

Internet Explorer 7, as of May 2012, still has 5.5 percent usage share, according to W3Counter. IE as a whole in all versions has just over 31 percent, according to StatCounter. But in the last year Google's Chrome has jumped up to 39 percent, depending on which stat site does the counting. Firefox is holding at 28 percent to 35 percent and Safari holds just shy of 5 percent. It will be interesting to see how this gimmick might expand business for Kogan and what reaction Microsoft will have to it.

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