[IE] don't leave page when you download a program

<a href="plugin.exe">download</a>

I have an anchor link to download a plugin for my website. When clicking on this anchor with Firefox or Safari, a download window comes up as expected. However, on Internet Explorer 8, the page becomes blank THEN the download window comes up. The blank page is not ideal for novice computer users, so I tried what it would look like with…

<a href="plugin.exe" target="_blank">download</a>

This method doesn’t blank out the page, but rather opens up a new IE window for the download to initiate. This is better, but still not ideal. According to Jacob Nielson, the leading authority on website usability, target=_blank should not be used because idiots become confused and don’t know how to go back to their previous window.

Is there any way to programmatically solve this? I’ve used iFrames before, but it’s just so hacky… and plus, it doesn’t work in IE6.