Australia's electronics hawker Ruslan Kogan has decided he's had enough of tuning his eponymous website for Internet Explorer 7. Shoppers who use the venerable browser to make purchases from his store will therefore be charged an additional 6.8% for goods. IE 7 users will have the tax thrust in their faces, with the popup below.
Kogan's business model seems to rely on regular injections of attention-gathering controversy, and a quick look at StatCounter suggests this “tax” may again have more to do with capturing the public imagination rather than a real business problem.
We say that in light of the fact that IE7 still represents 2.99% of the browsing public, just .3% behind Safari 5.1. While IE 7 is rather more quirky than Safari, it's still a decent slab of market share to go after. It is, however, half the global population MIcrosoft attributes to IE6, on the 'please hurry up and kill IE6' site, although Australia and the UK are at 1 and 1.1% IE6 use respectively.
Kogan nonetheless insists “Internet Explorer 7 has long since passed its use-by date. It’s a constant source of frustration for our web guys and we’re sick of burning cash on a browser that hit the market nearly six years ago” and that “It’s not only costing us a huge amount, it’s affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the internet economy millions of dollars.”
He adds that Kogan is very fond of cutting “unnecessary costs out of its business model” and IE7 falls into that category.
Kogan operates a UK web store, but it is currently exempt from the “tax”. Kogan has promised to tell us “if it happens”. ®