Thursday, June 14, 2012

Australian Tech Retailer Taxes Internet Explorer 7 Users

Any webmaster out there knows that developing websites with cross browser support can at times be messy. A site that looks and performs great on one browser might not performs so well on another. Well one internet guru is taking matters into his own hands by implementing what he believes to be “the world’s first ‘Internet Explorer 7 Tax.’”

Ruslan Kogan may not be a known entity in the U.S. (yes I had to look it up when I first read this story), is well know in the land down under. The Australian entrepreneur is a pioneer of online retail and happens to be the country’s wealthiest self-made person under the age of 30. Kogan founded, a manufacturer and direct retailer of consumer electronics that’s projected to hit over $100 million in sales this year. But, more importantly, the guy seems to hate the fact that his developers have to spend added time, and money developing his sites that already run seamlessly on Firefox, Chrome and Opera by building a friendly version of the site for Internet Explorer 7 users.

He hates it so much that he is willing to wage war against IE7 and charge his customers a 6.8% tax on any item purchased on his site.

In a posting on his official blog Kogan explains his reasoning

Today at Kogan we've implemented the world's first "Internet Explorer 7 Tax". The new 6.8% tax comes into effect today on all products purchased from by anyone still insistent on using the antique browser.

Norton Internet SecurityThe way we've been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined. One of the things stopping that is our web team having to spend a lot of time making our new website look normal on IE7. This is an extremely old browser, so from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8% surcharge - that's 0.1% for each month IE7 has been on the market:

As Internet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit. This will help us increase our efficiency, help keep prices for all smart shoppers down, and hopefully help eradicate the world of the pain in the rear that is IE7!

So, what are you waiting for? Time to upgrade your browser!

Now we may all laugh at this at first, but think about it. If it takes me an extra hour or two to develop a site for an older browser. That is cost out of my pocket. So why not pass some of the expense on. By means of telling you you need to upgrade, Kogan is actually doing you a favor. Once, by added security, and again by saving you the cost he is imposing.

Now obviously this is a bit of a PR stunt. Those Aussie's are well known for pulling off lavish stunts like this just to garner a bit of fame around the world. But it does have some merit. I'd just like to seem him take it a step further and add in a warning for users of any dated browser not just IE7. I mean IE7 isn't really that old, or that bad. It has been a bit of a P.I.T.A. to code for but at least its not IE6 or early editions of some of the other browsers with loads of security holes.

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