Microsoft Will Donate to Charity If You'll Just Download IE

Microsoft announced Friday charity drive that will donate US$1.15 to charity for every download of Internet Explorer 8, the latest version of the company's Web browser, though that does include a cap of $1 million. The company is making the offer through a dedicated Web site at

The charity campaign has been organized around Feeding America, which used to be called America's Second Harvest, a group working to provide food-relief to some 25 million low-income people in the U.S. Microsoft's ad verbiage says it will donate 8 meals per download, with the fine print stipulating that it's basically $1.15 per download.

IE 8 will be bundled with Windows 7 in most of the world, though not in Europe, where antitrust action forced Big Redmond to de-couple its browser from the OS. Though IE in all its forms has long been embedded in Windows, the world's #1 operating system in terms of usage, IE has seen steady erosion of its market share from 90% several years ago to about 65% today as it faced competition from the Mozilla family and Firefox, as well as Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, and smaller companies like Opera and The Omni Group's OmniWeb.

Internet Explorer 8 is available for Windows XP and Vista only, and it will be included in Windows 7 when that OS is released October 22nd, 2009.