Online entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan has fulminated against “antiquated” web browsers, after introducing the world’s first “Internet Explorer 7 tax”, effective as of today.
Kogan, founder of electronics retailer Kogan Technologies, announced in a blog the new 6.8% charge will apply to all products purchased by “anyone still insistent on using the antique browser”.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
“The way we’ve been able to keep our prices so low is by using technology to make our business efficient and streamlined,” Kogan said.
“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. This is an extremely old browser.”
“So, from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8% surcharge – that’s 0.1% for each month IE7 has been on the market.”
In addition to costing the company a “huge” amount, Kogan said the issue affects any business with an online presence, suggesting other businesses may follow suit.
Kogan told SmartCompany he doesn’t know the extent of the extra costs incurred by his company in working around IE7, although he believes they are significant.
“We have not done the exact maths, but it is a significant amount. The front end of every screen has to get redeveloped every time in order to render properly in IE7,” he said.
“Anyone who is involved with the internet and web technology would know the amount of time that is wasted to support all these antiquated browsers.”
“You have to make all these workarounds all the time to make sure the site works properly on it.”
Kogan is confident the move will be well received, insisting all internet users “have a responsibility to make the internet a better place”.
“It is early days yet, but we have had a lot of tweets and emails from people in the IT and web community praising us for what we have done,” he said.
Kogan said customers who enter the site using IE7 can avoid the impost by downloading an up-to-date browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera or a more recent version of Internet Explorer.
Kogan has included a pop-up on the site, which encourages customers to avoid the charge by upgrading their browser.
“This will help us increase our efficiency, help keep prices for all smart shoppers down, and hopefully help eradicate the world of the pain in the rear that is IE7,” he said.