With the release of Internet Explorer 7 and the year drawing to a close it seems like a reasonable time to have a look at some numbers.
One of the major drawbacks with browser statistics is that generally these figures are only of interest to developers. The platforms, browsers and systems used by developers tend to be atypical so they skew the results horribly. Take for example these browser statistics – they report Mozilla/Firefox usage at 47.42%, averaged across both sources.
Similarly the statistics at W3 Schools appear suspiciously weighted. It is, the skew notwithstanding, a great resource showing the changes in browser usage and system capabilities over time. Note that a disturbing number of people – 3% – are consistently browsing with only 256 colour depth.
Statistics at the Counter seem to be a good average of results.
- Internet Explorer 7 uptake has been rapid – up to 6.75% in the month after release.
- IE usage in general has fallen rather dramatically. If you combine the stats for all versions the drop was from 87.51% to 84.22%.
- The 3.3% fall in IE usage appears to have gone to both Safari and Firefox…
- Firefox usage increased from 7.82% to 10.68% (an increase of 2.86%)
- Safari increased from 1.84% to 2.75% (an increase of 0.91%)
- While Opera usage seems static they dropped from 0.69% to 0.6%.
However, looking back at the W3Schools data – Opera made a huge gain from October 2005 (0.2%) to October 2006 (1.4%)*. As Andrey (Fatal) points out in the comments, the W3Schools data did not change dramatically. Comparing the 2005 data, split into Opera versions 7 & 8, with the 2006 table, which combines all Opera versions, usage actually decreased from 1.5% to 1.4%. So while the W3Schools figures are still different to most other statistics, the trend is still the same.
The browser statistics are interesting but for most developers they shouldn’t mean very much – if you are still “targeting” browsers or dropping support for certain browsers then you need to start developing to web standards.
While the numbers look good:
- Some resolutions are reported as “unknown” but at least 94.79% of users operate at a resolution 800×600 or greater.
- The percentage of users operating at less than 16bit colour depth is at 0.47%.
* The W3 Schools does not have data for November 2006.