It’s Only Funny at First

This looks like the sort of internet ‘tax’ you could learn to love:

explorer tax

"Today at Kogan we’ve implemented the world’s first ‘Internet Explorer 7 Tax’. The new 6.8 [per cent] tax comes into effect today on all products purchased from Kogan.com by anyone still insistent on using the antique browser," says a blog post from the firm.

via Kogan implements Internet Explorer 7 tax – The Inquirer, who seem to think it’s copacetic.

Kidding aside, though, this isn’t a true tax since since it’s private, not governmental.

Worse, I wonder if this might lead to a new struggle for market share in which some retailers would offer a discount to users who visit with Chrome, or come from Bing. In the long run, this sort of deal would not work to the advantage of open source projects since they don’t have the deep pockets it would take to run that sort of (wickedly effective?) promotion. I wonder if there would be any anti-trust implications…

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7 Responses to It’s Only Funny at First

  1. Just me says:

    Anti-trust is certainly not my area of expertise, but I was wondering about it before I got to your question at the end. The promotions should at least raise anti-trust flags.

    • Vic says:

      Not sure why anti-trust would have anything to do with this… They are not even forcing you to use a MS browser or O/S so far as I can tell (I just cruised it using Linux/Firefox). All they are doing is telling the MS-using luddites and the uninformed that insist on using outdated and often insecure software that they won’t keep catering to their unwillingness to at least TRY to keep their computers updated.

      People who refuse to keep their systems updated and secure (coupled with the usually accompanying click on anything that they can mentality) make life on the Internet hard for all of us and is one of the primary reasons why you must run various forms of malware detectors/cleaners at all times when running MS software.

      I don’t know that charging people is the right solution, but I’d have no problem with simply cutting off support for long-supassed software (when an upgrade is literally a few clicks away).

      • I am not an anti-trust person, but I wonder if there might be some claim of illegal tying perhaps? But this really is not my area.

        • Vic says:

          I don’t think so. They are not forcing anybody to actually buy anything (or even really DO anything). And what they would like people to do at their own option, is free.

          To make a bad analogy, I’d say this is more of a “No shoes, no shirt, no service” type situation, than any form of anti-trust bahavior. If you are going to shop in their “store,” there are some basic ground rules in place.

          • Just me says:

            The red flags I mentioned above aren’t so much from the fee described in the post, but from the possible future actions that Michael described as “a new struggle for market share in which some retailers would offer a discount to users who visit with Chrome, or come from Bing.”

  2. Kaleberg says:

    And how do they know you aren’t lying about your user agent? An awful lot of browsers let you set your user agent to whatever you want, a legacy of all those no-Macs, IE-only web sites that worked just fine with Macs and with browsers other than IE except for their checking the user agent string. As the cartoon says: on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

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