Microsoft is grazing on cake and guzzling champagne over in Redmond this week as Internet Explorer 6 usage in the US drops below one percent. The software giant launched its IE6 Countdown site in March last year to help accelerate the death of the aging browser. It appears to have worked in Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and the United States, who all report less than one percent usage of IE6. Worldwide usage is at 7.7 percent, down from 12 percent at the launch of IE6 Countdown.

However, It's not clear if people are jumping ship to IE8 and IE9 or other rival browsers. Recent statistics suggest that overall Internet Explorer marketshare continues to decline, despite Microsoft's efforts. The slow death of Internet Explorer 6, originally made available in 2001, could be prompting consumers and businesses to look at alternatives, such as Firefox and Chrome, for their browsing needs. Microsoft isn't fazed though, with Internet Explorer 10 on the horizon. The firm sent out t-shirts and mugs this week to promote its IE6 Countdown site, demonstrating it's proud that IE6 is on its death bed.