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Microsoft: 'We won't kill off IE6 (yet)!'

"Dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 is not an option," Microsoft has declared, after 'the Internet' started buzzing with comments that the 8-year-old browser should be euthanised

"Dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 is not an option," Microsoft has declared, after 'the Internet' started buzzing with comments that the 8-year-old browser was an out-dated pile of crud that should be euthanised.

The fuss kicked off after YouTube started displaying notices on its site to users who visited with IE6, telling them that the site will be "phasing out support for your browser soon". It prompted an upgrade to Google Chrome (obviously, since YouTube's a Google product as well), Firefox 3.5 and Internet Explorer 8.

This is all very fair -- it's an old browser, and coding advanced features into your site while maintaining functionality for legacy technology is time-consuming and expensive.

But Microsoft isn't feeling the hate as much, and has declared it will continue to support the browser at least as long as it's supporting the operating system it originally shipped with: Windows XP. That means IE6 won't die 'til 2014.

"We committed to support the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product," Microsoft said. "We keep our commitments. Many people expect what they originally got with their operating system to keep working."

How kind. And to be fair, IE6 is still a popular browser, thanks mostly to users either not updating their systems or not knowing that they should. In fact, it's the fifth most popular browser to read CNET UK, ahead of both Google Chrome 2.0 and Safari 4.

If you're still using IE6, let us know why in the comments.