Skip to main content

Retailer announces "IE7 tax"

Website owners are coming up with increasingly inventive ways to stamp out the scourge of old browsers. Electronics retailer Kogan has announced that an extra 6.8% will be added to the orders of IE7 users, which, given that the site sells TVs, computers and phones, amounts to a heavy charge. The tax is removed when the user upgrades.

The announcement explains: "The 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.

"... It’s not only costing us a huge amount, it’s affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the Internet economy millions."

Developer Paul Irish told us he thinks it's a great idea: "Applying 0.1% of tax for every month since a browser was released [that's where the 6.8% comes from] would work very well. In fact, research affirms that a faster UX improves bottom line metrics like conversion and average order size. Newer and faster browsers isn't just a relief for the developers behind the experience but also directly translates into more revenue.

"I will also point out that Neowin issued a "this isn't real" article, but I think the PR stunt was worth it for the thought experiment."

The Neowin writer found that although the tax is shown in your shopping cart, it is removed at the very last stage of payment.

The big players are also prepared to take a stand: 37signals earlier this year made clear their plans to only support the newest versions, declaring that "Developing for old browsers is (almost) a thing of the past".