This is an idea whose time has come. A tax on malware. A tax on apps that cause users grief. A tax on using Microsoft products.
It could happen.
In fact, the trend has already started.
Online retailer Kogan in Australia now slaps a 6.8-percent tax on users who insist on using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7.x.
IE7 may very well be the most insecure web browser ever and it has long lived past the era of usefulness.
Ruslan Kogan, the company’s CEO:
Internet Explorer 7 has long since passed its use-by date. It’s a constant source of frustration for our web guys and we’re sick of burning cash on a browser that hit the market nearly six years ago. It goes against everything Kogan stands for.
Customers who visit Kogan’s online store while using Internet Explorer 7.x get a pop up which explains the 6.8 surcharge and gives them the option of using a modern browser, such as Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, or Opera.
As Internet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit.
We’ll also be able to 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.
Why stop at Internet Explorer 7.x? Why not impose the surcharge on IE8, to force Microsoft users to upgrade to the improved version 9?
Maybe this kind of online surcharge will catch on with all kinds of websites, and micro-payments will finally take off as an accepted way of viewing sites or buying online.
Applying Kogan’s tax method, Amazon could launch their own browser, and give everyone using it a discount at the time of purchase. That would help grow Kindle Fire usage, right?
Google could use the same kind of detection and notification to every non-Google, non-Motorola Android device and give discounts to get users to switch to Google’s latest dairy product OS.
Even Apple could get into the game and offer Safari users a discount for shopping online, but impose a tax on Chrome or Firefox users who buy from Apple’s site.
Talk about 21st century browser wars! This is an idea whose time has come.