Security professionals and web developers alike have encouraged users to keep their web browsers updated but one online retailer has taken that a step further.  Kogan, an electronics retailer based out of Australia has imposed the first tax on customers who use an outdated browser like Internet Explorer 7 for their purchases on its site.

Shoppers who visit the retailers’ website with an outdated browser will be presented with a popup that informs and warns them that their browser is outdated.  If the customer chooses to make a purchase anyway they are charged a 6.8% tax on their entire order.

Kogan claims that it was tired of wasting time and money to support a browser that is old and riddled with security risks when better and more secure options are freely available.  Internet Explorer 7 was originally launched in 2006, and has undergone two full version upgrades since.  Microsoft themselves regularly warns people about the security flaws inherent in the six-year-old browser.

As a web developer Kogans efforts certainly bring a smile to my face but I wonder how the general public will receive the tax and if they will even understand why it’s important to upgrade their browser.  For our readers where do you stand on the issue? Do you think Kogan is justified in adding the tax or have they overstepped their bounds as a retailer?

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Design and Optimization Department