Usage of web browser Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) in the US and Europe fell below the 5pc mark for the first time in May, according to web analytics company StatCounter.
StatCounter Global Stats reports that IE6 US usage has fallen to 4.7pc from 11.5pc 12 months ago.
“At these levels, web developers now have valid justification not to support IE6 in the future,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.
A number of sites including YouTube are already understood to have withdrawn support for IE6.
StatCounter Global Stats reports that IE8 US usage increased to 30.5pc in May from 8.5pc in the same month last year. IE7 is currently at 16.6pc in the US.
“IE6 has been a bit of a pain for many web developers and designers who have often had to recode their site to get it to work. There are also security implications in its continued usage,” added Aodhan Cullen of StatCounter.
However, globally, he suggested that web designers were not out of the woods yet. “If your target market is Asia then IE6 still has 20.8pc usage. IE8 has only just overtaken it in Asia.” Africa also continues to have high levels of usage of IE6.
The data is based on an analysis of 15 billion page views (3.8 billion from the US and 4.3 billion from Europe) for May 2010 collected from the StatCounter network of more than three million websites.