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Saturday, November 06, 2010
I read an article over at Ars Technica, my longtime favorite technical haunt, that made me smile. In an article about the worldwide Windows market share and how it divided between Windows XP, Vista, and 7, the second half of the article was what piqued my interest.
"At 59.26 percent, Internet Explorer has hit a new low point. This drop comes despite public IE9 builds and for the first time, help from IE8. Although Microsoft told Ars that over 900 partners have built Jump Lists for their sites (an IE9-only feature), the beta isn't being used as widely as it could be. IE9 last month grew to 0.28 percent (0.32 percent if you count compatibility mode). IE8, meanwhile, for the first time fell to 29.01 percent (32.04 with compatibility mode), but it's still the world's most popular browser."
Check out this related article on browser speed. See, there was a time, just after the first browser wars, when Microsoft dominated the web browser market and innovation dropped to zero. IE was slow, bloated, buggy, and insecure - but it was the only real choice. Fast forward to the present, however, and we'll see that the fierce competition of the second browser war that we're in has led to a tighter adherence to web standard, much faster rendering speeds, better load times, rainbows, unicorns, etc.

The point of this post is simple: competition - that drive to be first - is what shapes greatness. Being the biggest is not the same as being the best, and in a fair market it's going to be the best that will survive - and even thrive. These are glorious times we live in, and it's exciting to see the competition and where it will take us.

And, for the record, most of my browsing is done with Google Chrome and Camino, though I have to use Internet Explorer 8 for a few things at work, too. As for the visitors to my site, it would seem that Firefox is the most common browser used over the past few months.

Browser share for the past few months on my site


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