And so dear reader, if you are one of those IE6 users, your blogger is flattered that you are interested in his humble blog ... Really! ... And your blogger humbly thanks you for your patronage ... However, those of you who are IE6 users should be warned that there are several big words in this blog, and there may be some concepts that you find difficult to get your head around ... And sadly, there's also a high probability that your computer is infected with malware ... But that's another story! ... But screw your courage to the sticking point ... And read on! ... You might actually learn something!
The AptiQuant Study, titled, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage: Measuring the Effects of Cognitive Ability on the Choice of Web Browser, concluded that: subjects using any version of Internet Explorer ranked significantly lower on an average than others. This was especially true for IE6 users whose average IQ was the lowest of all.
Microsoft has long extolled the benefits of their "user friendly" platform ... After all, who needs smart users, when you have smart software? Although many of the subtle incompatibilities embedded in the now antiquated IE6 may have been devious, in the long run they weren't very smart. Now it seems the giant corporation will reap what it has sown. And the IE6 crop may prove to be a bitter harvest. Despite an extensive campaign to persuade users to abandon IE6, many of them cling stubbornly to the ailing, buggy browser with its many security flaws and annoying non-standard behaviour ... And the Vancouver study also explains why ... Less intelligent users are more resistant to change and therefore less likely to try a new browser.
One could say, that with IE6 at least, Microsoft find themselves in a (lack of) intelligence trap. Many of the IE6 users are also XP users. And Microsoft can't afford to ditch XP yet. IE6 has become a millstone around the neck of not only Microsoft but the many web developers who unwisely supported the buggy non-standard browser in the past and must now re-engineer their websites and remove the IE6 cruft.
Microsoft's profits, as ever, seem healthy. In the second quarter, they reported an increase in sales compared to the same quarter last year. However the major contribution to this substantial revenue came from the Xbox and associated entertainment.
Remarkably Microsoft also report that Windows Phone Seven has been a big earner. And yet your humble blogger can't help observing that Microsoft also report that Windows has lost money! Could it be possible that Microsoft is indulging in creative accounting? For example, shifting the costs for developing Windows Phone Seven over onto the Windows side of the ledger while all the revenue from Phone Seven has been declared in the mobile side? Of course you might accuse your humble blogger of cynicism, but it does seem extraordinary that the mobile division is doing so well, when there is so little evidence of Windows Phones on the street. Even their bride-to-be, Nokia is starting to advertise the N9 (a handset that uses MeeGo) ... Of course, your blogger might just be moving in the wrong circles (perhaps he should start mixing with folks who have a lower IQ?).
And it raises the question of when there might be an IQ test for handset users? ... Although it might be difficult to find enough Windows Phone users for a statistically significant sample.
The glaringly obvious item in the Microsoft 2nd Quarter report was the poor performance of the online division. Even the most creative accountant would find it difficult to disguise the fact that the financial returns from Microsoft's online ventures are dismal. Microsoft still hope that their search engine will eventually benefit from the generous budget they have lavished on it. But that hope seems forlorn, as to date they have only been able to present users with a second rate copy of Google. It's true that Microsoft have demonstrated that they are willing to pour an awesome truckload of money into their online division. The list goes on ... The big spend on infrastructure and advertising for Bing ... The undisclosed cash injections and discounts for Nokia ... The over-inflated price paid for Skype ... However, with the exception of Xbox Live, their endeavours are not yielding results that would justify such levels of investment.
The question remains. How long can Microsoft continue haemorrhaging in the pursuit of total online dominance? If the slow leaking from the massive financial blood bank continues it could eventually impact on the over-all bottom line ... And that would probably precipitate a board or share-holder revolt ... Such is the culture in mainstream American corporations.
Note: NPR Alleged that the story about a study by AptiQuant was a hoax. Your blogger deeply regrets any hurt that this mischievous hoax might have caused users who regularly use MSIE ... Especially MSIE 6 users ... Who deserve all they sympathy they get.