Microsoft Encourages IE6 Upgrades With Charity Donations

By Craig Buckler

IE8 Feeding AmericaMicrosoft receives some stick from the web development community for IE6. The bygone bug-ridden browser is the bane of our lives, and the revelation that Microsoft will support IE6 until 2014 was met with contempt.

However, let’s make one thing clear: Microsoft has no interest in prolonging the life of IE6. It’s life may have been inadvertently extended by their inaction, but MS want users to upgrade to IE7 or, preferably, IE8.

To that end, Microsoft is donating 8 meals to Feeding America, a US hunger-relief charity, for every download of IE8 from their Browser For The Better web site. If you’re upgrading from IE6, Microsoft will double that donation.

Feeding America provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than 9 million children and almost 3 million seniors. Microsoft is donating up to $1 million and each IE8 download will contribute at least $1.15 toward the charity.

If you’ve been holding off your upgrade, perhaps it’s time to succumb to the delights of IE8. It’s a fine browser. Honestly. And you’ll be doing your bit for charity.


Related reading:

  • Evan

    This is still a lame idea, yeah people will upgrade from that site. But the only reason IE6 is large businesses don’t want to deal with the hassle of upgrading. Those companies will continue to use IE6 because their ancient Intranets aren’t built for anything besides IE6. IF these companies are going to upgrade, I highly doubt that they are going to send out a network peon to download individual copies on all 2,000+ computers probably in use by said company, therefor making this effort basically a mute point. Along with the fact that most inexperience personal PC users will be getting the update from Windows Update, which doesn’t fall under the stipulations to get the 8 meal donation. Anyone that doesn’t fit under either of these categories is probably at least a little knowledgeable about computers (and uses a different browser, or has already upgraded), not a windows users (so IE doesn’t matter anyway), or doesn’t own a computer.

    This charity stunt is like a pile of crap wrapped in gold foil, looks great… but in the end, its still a pile of crap.

  • Issesi Sagawa

    Microsoft receives some stick from the web development community

    So Does Craig Buckler. Ha ha.

    Love Always,
    Issesi x

  • steve

    I think it would be better to have MS infect your computer if you don’t upgrade to 7 or 8 :)

  • Unbelievable.

  • Benjamin

    @Evan how is this a lame idea? Or are you just flame-baiting for shits-and-giggles?

  • Really guys? For all the Microsoft bashing that goes on I’m surprised that people aren’t more supportive here. The argument has been made that this will probably have little to no effect on the bulk of IE6 users (corporations) and I actually agree with that. At the same time, isn’t it noble that they’re doing something to get people off IE6 and help a charity? I’m not a Microsoft fanboy but I just don’t understand why we’re continuing to bash them with things like “This is still a lame idea” and “unbelievable” when absolutely nothing negative can come of this. The only possible outcome is that some people upgrade their browser and a well-known charity gets some much needed funding.

  • randywehrs

    I’m surprised to see that there aren’t others who think this idea isn’t half-bad; I won’t criticize any attempt by MS to encourage people to upgrade from IE6 – it isn’t a very enticing deal, but it’s a deal nonetheless. It shows that they recognize the problem, and that they’re trying.

  • Let’s do some basic math here. The introduction states that “For every download of IE8…we will donate eight meals to Feeding America”.

    The (dark coloured) fine print on the (darker coloured background) on the website itself states that “Microsoft is donating at least $1.15 per download, with a maximum of $2.30 per download…”.

    So that’s $1.15 / 8 = 14 cents. For one meal.

    If you really want to make a difference, donate direct to They won’t even force IE8 on you, as TechCrunch noted back in June:

  • Let’s do some basic math here. The introduction states that “For every download of IE8…we will donate eight meals to Feeding America”.

    The (dark coloured) fine print on the (darker coloured background) on the website itself states that “Microsoft is donating at least $1.15 per download, with a maximum of $2.30 per download…”.

    So that’s $1.15 / 8 = 14 cents. For one meal.

    I’m aware that the fine print also mentions that “Meals are for illustrative purposes only”, so MS isn’t actually donating any food, it’s funding the infrastructure that Feeding America uses to feed America. That does seem, to me, to be a fine distinction.

    When you read the headline “Download IE8 and we’ll donate 8 meals to Feeding America” on their website, do you get the impression MS is donating the actual food rather than just funding the admin costs? That sounds like misleading marketing to me.

    If you really want to make a difference, donate direct to

  • sfrost2004: You make valid points about the fine print but why are you still against Microsoft doing something to get users off IE6 and make a donation? Sure, they could do more. We all could do more. That doesn’t mean what they are doing is bad.

  • Jayz

    This is nonsense. How about doing everyone a favour and just abandon IE6 altogether. We’ll find a way to feed ourselves.

  • You’re right. Microsoft is doing a good thing by donating to charity, and by persuading users to upgrade to IE6.

    The IE6 problem is totally of their own making. It’s good that they’re trying to fix it, but the thing that gets stuck in my throat is that they are making themselves look good in the process.

    (Also, all other IE6-upgrade measures, like WordPress plugins,, all encourage people to upgrade and mention more browsers than just IE – but that’s an argument for another day).

  • grammi-nazer

    bain = bane.

  • ARGH! Some of you guys drive me absolutely insane.

    This is along the same lines as “a big company donating to a charity is just a publicity stunt”.

    Here is my point: so what?

    Which is better: donating $0.00 or donating up to $1,000,000.00? If my math is correct, the latter is the best. This one has the added benefit of also encouraging people to upgrade away from an obsolete browser. To me, it’s a win-win situation.

    Is it going to get everyone off of IE6? No.
    Is it going to end world hunger? Definitely not.
    Is it going to help with both, at least a little? Yes.

    And before you think I’m a Microsoft fanboy, I’m not. In fact, other than the Visual Studio for a few languages, I avoid Microsoft products whenever possible and I greatly dislike most of their business practices. But, even if the worst person in the world tries to do something good, you should give them at least a little credit.

  • jake_ie8team

    Make sure to download AND install IE 8 from if you want your donations to count! Only complete installations of IE 8 will go toward donating 8 meals to Feeding America (or 16 meals if you are upgrading from IE 6 as mentioned). So spread the word and install IE 8! You only have through the end of September.

    – Jake

    MSFT Internet Explorer Outreach Team

  • I love the idea, but I think they could get more traction by offering discounts on a Windows upgrade…

    The largest chunk of IE6 users, by far, are corporate and government offices that cannot upgrade their browsers because they have old network software…

    Make it easier (read: cheaper) for those orgs to upgrade and they just might!

    Or, if that fails, I support “steve”… ;-)


  • @aarontgrogg
    MS have already sold Windows 7 at a significant discount…
    Windows 7 Pre-Orders Sell Out on Day 1
    Buy Windows 7 in Europe … at Half the US Price!

    You should also remember that Vista has been available for a couple of years and it comes with IE7.

    It’s unlikely that old network software stops people upgrading their browser. Users on Windows 2000 (or XP SP1) and below are stuck with IE6, but they can usually install other browsers. The problem is that they can’t upgrade because of legacy web applications.

  • Anonymous

    just download Firefoxs and use it as primary browser, then donate 2 dollar change for feeding america. Isn’t this better ?

    Forget about another maze microsoft just created, upgrade ie and donate blah blah, “Keep it simple stupid” microsoft, just make your ie better for jesus sake.

  • Nathan-Kelly

    So basically MS is saying they are happy to pay for meals for the underprivileged (only in the USA BTW, and only in part) while they sit back and release random updates to a browser that is almost as old as the web its self, but they can’t find the funds to incorporate legacy functionality in their new browsers or update IE6 with (some) new technology that would at least keep the big business sector happy, and let the rest of us move on?


    If they can chuck money at the homeless then they have a wallet fat enough to chuck at their LEGACY…

Get the latest in Front-end, once a week, for free.