Archive for March, 2012

postheadericon Is Google About to Top the Browser Charts

As many of us are aware, internet browsing became popular through the use of a trusted and well known piece of software called Internet Explorer.  For many years, IE dominated the internet browsing world, with only a little bit of competition from Netscape on Windows and Safari on Mac, but that time came to an end.  According to statistics from www.w3schools.com, internet explorer has been on a steady decline in market share since March of 2003, where it peaked at 80% of the market share.  9 years later their market share has dwindled down to only 19.5%.

In January of 2009, Mozilla Firefox overtook Internet Explorer as the most popular browser.  However, by July of that year, it too started to decline in market share as a new competitor, Google Chrome, began its accent to the top.  By April of 2010, Google surpassed IE, taking over the number 2 spot behind Firefox, and has been continuously gaining ground since.

As of last month, Google has edged itself to within .3% of Firefox with 36.3% vs. Firefox’s 36.6%.  IE is down to 19.5%, like mentioned above, with Safari and Opera rounding out the remainder with 4.5% and 2.3% respectively.  If the trend continues, by next month, we may be hailing Google Chrome as the champion in this browser competition, at least for the time being.  As Internet Explorer and Firefox have demonstrated, nothing lasts forever.

How does this affect web developers and the population in general?

As many website designers and developers would attest to, Internet Explorer has been a thorn in our side for the last few years.  As Firefox and Chrome, along with Safari and Opera, embraced the most advanced technologies available, IE has been steadily falling behind, causing developers to need to almost develop an entire side twice.  Once for Internet Explorer and once for the rest of the world.  In addition, there are so many features that are lacking in older versions of Internet Explorer, that anyone running IE8 would never be able to see the websites they visit living up the glory that they have.

The good news is that IE9 at least brought potential fixes to some of these features, even if developers need to use different coding in some cases to achieve the same results.

The bad news is that IE9 won’t work on machines running Windows XP, which according to the same source above, is still used by over 31% of internet users.

More good news: Microsoft recently announced that IE10 will be debuting shortly, and is currently in developer testing stages.  You can download a version of it if you want, but we wouldn’t recommend it unless you are an experienced web developer.

More bad news: Microsoft has decided that IE10 will not be available on anything before Windows 7, which to be fair has garnered about 47% of the market at this point.  Still, this leaves anyone running Windows XP with only one way of viewing the latest technologies: drop Internet Explorer and go for one of the top dogs, either Firefox or Chrome.

Personally, as a Chrome user,  I am all for it taking the #1 spot.  Nothing against Firefox, mind you.  It is a good and stable browser, but with Google behind it, I see lots of potential for Chrome, including functionality between it, Google’s Android mobile phone operating system, and Google Chrome OS, Google’s attempt at taking cloud computing to a ridiculously new level.

If you are a Chrome user too, great!

If you are a Firefox user, your days as #1 may be up, but I wish you the best of luck.

If you are a Safari or Opera user, I don’t understand why you chose what you did, but I can appreciate your choice.

If you are using IE9, it could be worse, I suppose.

If you are still using IE8 or earlier, you may want to consider upgrading if possible or better yet switching to a different browser.  Just try it out.  It doesn’t take long to adjust and you can be sure you are seeing the website in the way website developers want you to.