Internet Explorer 6 (IE 6) usage has dropped below one percent in the United States, Microsoft announced in a Tuesday blog post.
In March, the software giant launched a "countdown" website, which encouraged users to drop the browser, first released on Aug. 27, 2001.
"I'm thrilled to say that the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway," Roger Capriotti, director of IE marketing, wrote. "In addition, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, Portugal and the Philippines are also entering the Champions' Circle. We hope this means more developers and IT pros can consider IE 6 a low-priority at this point and stop spending their time having to support such an outdated browser."
Microsoft has cited faster speed, tabbed browsing and better privacy settings as reasons to upgrade to the latest version of the browser, IE 9. Security also is a driver. IE 6 lacks some of the latest anti-phishing and malware mechanisms, and vulnerabilities in the archaic browser were used in the "Operation Aurora" attacks, which targeted Google, Adobe and some 30 other companies.
Microsoft has pledged to officially scrap support for IE 6 in April 2014, when it ends support for Windows XP. A number of sites, including YouTube, are no longer compatible with that version of the browser.