A web design firm will hold a tongue-in-cheek funeral for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 on March 4 to celebrate the aged browser's decline. The design company, Aten Design Group, announced IE6's funeral on Monday with a site, ie6funeral.com, that offered a short obituary and an invitation to a wake.

"Internet Explorer Six, resident of the interwebs for over 8 years, died the morning of March 1, 2010, in Mountain View, California, as a result of a workplace injury sustained at the headquarters of Google," the obit read. "Internet Explorer Six, known to friends and family as 'IE6,' is survived by son Internet Explorer Seven, and grand-daughter Internet Explorer Eight."

The Google and March 1 references come from that company's recent announcement that it would drop IE6 from the list of supported browsers for its Google Docs online applications and its Google Sites hosting services starting on Monday, March 1. Yesterday, Google's popular video site YouTube named March 13 as the end-of-support date for IE6.

"We thought it would be funny to do an IE6 funeral," said Justin Toupin, the founder and creative director of Aten Design, in an interview. "It's a humorous spin on a browser that a lot of us have loved to hate for a long time. We're just saying that it's a fun way to celebrate companies like Google saying that they're no longer going to support IE6."

But Toupin admitted that the reaction to the funeral announcement has taken him by surprise. Aten Design regularly hosts small in-office parties for the local web design and development community, but those typically run to 30 or 40 people. So far, Aten has received more than 700 RSVPs to its March 4 event via its site.

"Now we have to figure out what to do about the actual party," Toupin said. "We have a pretty small office. This kind of blew up on us."

Toupin said he had nothing personal against IE6, but acknowledged that, like many other web designers, he wouldn't be sorry to see it go. "It does involve, toward the end of a project especially, considerable work adjusting things like CSS and JavaScript to make sure they work," he said. Aten now evaluates IE6 support for its projects on a case-by-case basis, Toupin said.