Adblock Plus today announced it is finally dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7. As a result, the next version of Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer will no longer install unless the Windows computer has at least IE8.

Furthermore, the company says it will start removing hacks that were required to make its site display correctly in older IE versions. This includes deactivating the SSLv3 protocol on its download servers, meaning that IE6 will not be able to connect unless TLS 1.0 is enabled manually. The outdated SSLv3 protocol was originally used because the more secure TLS 1.0 protocol is turned off by default in IE6.

Until today, Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer supported every IE version still in use. The company says that doing so “not only complicated development of Adblock Plus, our website and infrastructure had to support Internet Explorer 6 as well.”

Here are the statistics that made Adblock Plus finally make the decision so many others already have:

  • Less than 2 percent of all Internet Explorer users hitting its website or filter subscription servers are using Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7.
  • Netmarketshare currently reports Internet Explorer 6 to have 4.15 percent market share world-wide and Internet Explorer 7 to have 0.80 percent. These comparably high numbers are mostly due to a very high reported marked share of Internet Explorer 6 in China: currently 22.2 percent. The reported market share for pretty much every other country is below 2 percent.
  • Baidu (the most popular search engine in China) disagrees and puts Internet Explorer 6 at 9.35 percent and Internet Explorer 7 at 2.99 percent in China — still a very high number but much more realistic.
  • Other statistics services report significantly lower market share for outdated Internet Explorer versions: W3Counter reports 0.3 percent and 2.9 percent for Internet Explorer 6 and 7 respectively, while StatCounter says 0.28 percent and 0.46 percent.

Onwards and upwards. With the death of Windows XP, it’s only a matter of time before IE8 support is dropped as well.

See also – IE10 steals market share from IE9 and IE8 after landing on Windows 7; Firefox and Chrome make minor gains