An online electronics retailer in Australia charges an extra 6.8% if you use Internet Explorer 7. It does take a lot of work to make websites look and function correctly in different browsers and different versions of those browsers. If you’re an online retailer, the cost can be huge.
Kogan, the inventor of this “tax” apparently has some real issues with the outdated browser. It wasn’t that long ago that Google and half the internet officially dropped support for Internet Explorer 6. After all, people don’t like to update their computer.
Now you may think this is a bit silly. No online retailer in the US would charge a fee based on what you’re using to shop. But why not? Gas stations have different rates for cash and credit. Huge retailers like Costco don’t even accept credit cards. Some of you even shop online so much that you’ll pay $80/year to get free shipping.
Cross-platform development (that’s what they call it) is a huge super-expensive cost for online retailers. What if Amazon charged 5% because you were not using the latest version of a browser? Would you update or change browsers to save 5%? Most of us would. And I think most of us will.
Although, and I have to note this is educated conjecture, Kogan is clearly anti-Microsoft. Chrome and Firefox browsers are very modern and capable. However, Safari is so bad that not even Apple fanatics like it (though it’s what’s on iPhones), and Opera was never even considered a serious contender. In fact, Facebook has been considering buying Opera so they can twist it into one of their hack-a-thon products. IE7 really isn’t all that bad from a coding point of view?