Microsoft has kicked off a new marketing campaign for Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) that urges users of rival browsers to run it, even if only sparingly for "a few sites that you go to everyday."
The unusual approach, which Microsoft launched last week on browseryoulovedtohate.com, a domain it registered last month, is part of Microsoft's continued campaign to convince Windows users to stick with IE9, or if they've switched browsers, to give it another try.
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"One of the more interesting trends these days is the number of Chrome and Firefox enthusiasts who have 'added' Internet Explorer 9 into their browsing mix," said Roger Capriotti, the director of IE marketing, in a blog post last week. "You don't need to ditch your current browser, but there are probably a few sites you go to each day like Facebook that you can pin with IE9."
In the blog post, Capriotti repeatedly argued that even users who had defected to Google's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox should run IE9, if only occasionally.
"It's the perfect complement to whatever browser you use for daily tasks," he said.
Capriotti also couched IE9 as a "comeback" for Internet Explorer, and said that the browser has been in "many ways ... a turning point" for Microsoft.
Browser usage share data doesn't support his argument. In the year since IE9's launch, the total usage share of IE has fallen 5.5 percentage points, a loss that represents about 9.4 percent of IE's March 2011 share. During that same period, Chrome grew by 56.5 percent, adding 6.8 percentage points.
Almost since IE9's debut, Microsoft has ignored IE's continued decline and has instead focused on the growth of its newest browser on Windows 7, a combination the company has regularly claimed is the only metric that matters.
In February, IE9 accounted for 30.1 percent of all browsers running on Windows 7, Capriotti said last month, citing statistics from Web measurement company Net Applications, making it the most popular single edition on the operating system.
IE9's global usage share on all operating systems is considerably less: just 12.6 percent, or less than half that of the older IE8.