The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known for shopping, but Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic this week suggested an alternative purpose: quietly dumping the ancient Internet Explorer 6 from your parents’ computers while visiting home for the holidays, in the interest of making the web more secure for everyone.

For Microsoft, this suggestion brings both risk and opportunity. Although the Atlantic advises against such radical change, there’s always the chance that a tech-savvy kid will switch a parental PC not to a new version of Internet Explorer, but rather to Firefox, Chrome, or another browser.

But the Redmond company is fully on board with this new holiday, endorsing it in a blog post today and suggesting upgrades to IE8 for Windows XP machines and IE9 for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The IE team even came up with a tongue-in-cheek top 10 list offering suggestions for distracting your parents long enough to make the upgrade. It won’t be appearing on David Letterman anytime soon, but hey, it’s not too bad for a bunch of browser geeks.

Microsoft has been tracking the decline of IE6 on a special site. Internet Explorer’s overall market share has been declining across all computers, but Microsoft has been focusing on the rising market share of Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7, the latest versions of its browser and operating system.

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  • Dave_noreen

    My parents are the only ones still using internet explorer. ha ha

    • Guest

      I guess they’re smarter than their offspring then.

  • Guest

    This is a good idea. Upgrading to Internet Explorer 9 makes for an excellent security and usability improvement over the ancient Internet Explorer 6.

  • Guest

    MS has lost the browser battle. They should switch to webkit like everyone else.

  • Guest

    I’d be kinda pissed if my kids did this to me (which is why they don’t have admin priv.

    • Anonymous

      Why? The upgrade will happen anyways, so why bother. If you kids know that you need to upgrade then upgrade. Why be ancient?

  • Kevin Lisota

    I always do this over the holidays. Actually, I just arrived at my parents home, and the IE upgrade was already complete! Guess they are getting more tech-savvy…

  • Senina Chung

    LOL, good point.The first browser I installed in their computer is Avant browser. So old an version and they never updated it. I will update it for them this time.

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