Browser Market Shares and Trends, March 2011: IE6 Usage Drops Below 5%

I last looked at market trends at the beginning of December 2010. At that time, Chrome had just overtaken IE7 to become the third most-used browser. There’s some more good news for developers today: IE6 worldwide usage has fallen below 5%. There are still a great many people using the browser but it’s now behind Safari and, with luck, could be almost insignificant by the end of 2011.

We’re on the cusp of several interesting developments in the browser world — in particular, the release of IE9 and Firefox 4.0 — so it’s a good time to analyze the current state of the market. Let’s take a look at the latest StatCounter statistics

Browser November February change relative
IE 9.0 beta 0.32% 0.48% +0.16% +50.00%
IE 8.0 29.49% 30.30% +0.81% +2.70%
IE 7.0 11.90% 10.09% -1.81% -15.20%
IE 6.0 6.45% 4.63% -1.82% -28.20%
Firefox 4.0 beta 0.41% 0.93% +0.52% +126.80%
Firefox 3.5+ 28.50% 27.89% -0.61% -2.10%
Firefox 3.1- 2.26% 1.51% -0.75% -33.20%
Chrome 13.32% 16.51% +3.19% +23.90%
Safari 4.70% 5.07% +0.37% +7.90%
Opera 2.02% 1.99% -0.03% -1.50%
Others 0.95% 1.08% +0.13% +13.70%
IE (all) 48.16% 45.50% -2.66% -5.50%
Firefox (all) 31.17% 30.33% -0.84% -2.70%

This table shows market shares — not absolute usage figures. Internet usage is growing, especially in Africa and Asia, so it’s possible for a browser to gain more users while losing market share.

The ‘change’ column shows the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 15.2% of IE7 users migrated to other browsers during the past two months.

As usual, the biggest overall winner is Google Chrome. Although usage patterns are complex, Chrome has effectively gained users at the expense of Internet Explorer and, to a lesser extent, Mozilla Firefox. Although IE8 usage has increased a little, IE’s overall market share now stands at 45% — less than half the proportion of users it enjoyed in its heyday.

Apple Safari has shown another modest increase. I suspect the continued popularity of Macs, iPhones and iPads is primarily responsible … especially when many of those users are prevented from using other browsers.

Opera’s market share remains mostly static at around 2% so it’s keeping up with general Internet growth. Opera 11 matches Chrome for speed and HTML5 features so it’s a shame it hasn’t been able to smash through that barrier. Nokia’s adoption of Windows Phone OS probably won’t help either.

Unsurprisingly, the IE9 and Firefox 4 betas have increased their share as we approach the release dates. Here are my predictions for the next few months:

  1. Firefox 4.0 and IE9 will be released within days of each other at the beginning of Q2 2011.
  2. Microsoft will attempt to out-promote Mozilla and vice versa. It’ll all get a little silly and few users will care.
  3. Firefox 4.0 will be adopted quickly. Mozilla’s automatic updates and the browser’s more technical user base will outstrip early gains made by IE9.
  4. IE9’s market share will catch Firefox 4.0, perhaps overtaking it, when Microsoft push it out as an automatic update for Windows 7 and Vista users.
  5. Chrome’s growth will begin to plateau as it’s current speed advantage over competing browsers reduces.
  6. By the end of the year, both IE9 and the latest Firefox will have around 20% of the market each. However:
    • Mozilla has stated they will implement Chrome-like release schedules and Firefox 7 could be out before 2012. Usage patterns will become a little complex unless those updates are fully automated.
    • IE9 is only available on Windows 7/Vista. 50% of Windows users remain on XP so IE9 adoption can only increase at the same rate as OS upgrades. IE8 will therefore remain popular although IE’s overall market share will reduce as XP users become more willing to migrate elsewhere.

What are your thoughts?

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  • Vivek Parmar

    I do not understand why people still use IE when you firefox such a good browser?

    • Mohit

      Better than Firefox is Google Chrome. Google has got a very good app store for Chrome now.

      • Raine

        Chrome can’t keep up with me. 100+ tabs for 8-10 hours at a time doesn’t phase Firefox, but chrome is down for the count after a couple of hours at around 45.

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        Although people moan about Firefox’s memory consumption, it tends to be more efficient when using dozens of tabs. Chrome and IE9 open tabs in separate processes.

    • Anonymous

      Lots of people don’t even know what a browser is. They see the blue ‘e’ and thinks ‘Internet’.

    • Herbert Peters

      Firefox crashes too often on me (3.6), I abhor the Chrome policy. They several times through different apps, installed Chrome without my consent. For that reason alone I’m avoiding Chrome. Apple also tries to install Safari all the time, So what’s left? Opera. Don’t really like the interface.

      I develop mostly with FireFox, but what really got my upset is that of late most workarounds i’ve had to come up with struturally are for any non-IE browser. Older IE suck on the design side, but it seems that only IE can handle these days things graceful enough, and not require me to use a number of hacks especially with AJAX. Design is another thing though

      Not that I really prefer IE, but if the trend continues, IE might become my prefer browser of choice again.

      Everything goes in cycles I guess. Off topic,, but not really in terms of Open Source. I had to nuke Ubuntu on one of my laptops for Win7, after a scheduled update nuked Ubuntu too smitheneers. Seems that Redmond delivers better quality for the time being.

      • Anonymous

        I have never in my life had chrome install something automatically, your settings must have been screwed or something.

        IE is Trash plain and simple, it always will be and should have been scrapped after 6.

  • Stella

    Oh Frabjous Day, Calloo Callay …

    But on the downside I can see I will have to upgrade my VM to Win7 soon simply in order to be able to develop for IE9. Not so great.

  • Robbo

    My thoughts are why is Microsoft so dumb? It surely couldn’t be too hard to get IE9 to work with XP. All other browsers will work on just about any OS made in the last decade (or longer?) and Microsoft can’t manage to get theirs to work on their own OS.

    And yes I do see the reasons they don’t do it. They are stupid reasons which are obviously not working though.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      I agree. The reasons IE9 is 7/Vista-only are primarily commercial than technical. That’s a shame and, despite MS backing HTML5, it will hold back evolution of the web.

      • Robbo

        Yeah those are the ‘stupid’ reasons I was referring to. There really isn’t anything that Microsoft does that I like.

        Since I started with web development I have rarely bothered with IE6. And since my main sites are aimed at technical people I can use HTML5 features since they are smart enough to use something other then IE.

      • Stormrider

        I’m sure they are perfectly capable of doing so, but why should they? It’s not in their interest to do so. It amazes me that people are happy to run all these ‘kill IE6′ campaigns about how IE6 is old, insecure, outdated etc, yet not the same treatment given for Operating Systems. I cannot for the life of me understand why people still run really old operating systems (XP will be in this category before too long) and moan about not being able to use the latest software – of course you can’t, get with the times and upgrade your operating system!

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        A good point, but upgrading a commercial OS is a little different to upgrading a free web browser.

        Despite it’s age, many people simply prefer XP. Besides, other than installing IE9, what can Vista/7 do which XP can’t?

        Finally, if MS were really serious about forcing people to upgrade XP, they could stop selling it! Making Office Vista/7-only would have a far larger impact too.

      • Wyatt Barnett

        Actually, I think that is way off base. Windows 6.x (vista, win7 and 2008) are vastly different beasts than XP if you are writing big, native, performant apps. Especially insofar as the architecture of how IE plays with the OS — lets remember that you can have an internet explore-less win6 install. I’d suspect IE9 would be alot different, and alot later if they were attempting to target XP.

        Do 9 year old versions of OSX support current versions of anything?

      • TomB

        Well upgrading a browser is free and fairly simple. An OS takes money and far more knowledge than your average IE6 user would have!

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        @Wyatt Barnett
        The primary reason MS have given for XP incompatibility is graphic acceleration. The fact remains they have two technologies which are designed to minimize OS and hardware differences: .NET and DirectX. It would take a little time to create an XP version of IE9, but it’s certainly not impossible — and I bet someone hacks it just to prove the point!

        OSX is a little different. It doesn’t have a 90% market share and Apple doesn’t make business promises about long-term support. The Windows team work hard to iron out incompatibilities between versions because that’s one of the reasons for its success.

        Finally, a big reason XP remains popular is because Microsoft screwed up Longhorn and Vista was a shambles. They can hardly blame users for that!

      • Wyatt Barnett

        The promises for long-term support for XP have been past for 6 months — XP EoL’d as of 22 October 2010. And that was the extended, extended deadline. I really don’t understand how the web community, who bemoans supporting older browsers, can continually blame MS for not wanting to continually support an ancient operating system well beyond their promises of support.

        Moreover, see this article on why ditching XP was a good thing: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/why-microsoft-did-the-right-thing-in-ditching-xp-for-ie9.ars

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        No one’s saying people shouldn’t ditch XP. In a perfect world, everyone would move to the latest OS and browser version and we’d live in a technical utopia.

        Unfortunately, it’s not like that. 60% of Windows users have XP and a Vista/7-only version of IE won’t encourage many people to upgrade. Especially when other browsers remain operable on the OS (Opera and Firefox work on Win2K too).

        Of course MS want people to upgrade. But, at the same time, they are still selling XP and supporting it for their lucrative commercial software. It’s a little hypocritical.

        The fact remains that for all MS’s HTML5 hype, they are the only browser vendor to actively hold back it’s adoption.

    • jmillspaysbills

      Chrome doesn’t work on Power PC macs, which is also annoying.

      Oh well.

      • Michael Tuck

        Chrome doesn’t work on XP, either. No excuse for that.

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        Really? Chrome works fine on the XP installations I have.

      • CreedFeed

        I’m posting this from Chrome on XP.

      • rjwarpath

        I think the number of Power PC users is probably the same as IE6 users. Developers do not care about Power PC.

  • Jake

    IE6 is still at 12% usage according to Microsoft:

    http://www.ie6countdown.com/

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      They’re using Netmarketshare.com data which is different to StatCounter. SC monitor around 3 million websites whereas NMS state they compile data from 160 million visitors. Take which ever metric you prefer!

      • dawgbone

        The one with the significantly larger sample size???

      • Naujocke

        I only trust the metrics for my clients. For new clients I consider reports like this. But otherwise I look at woopra or google analytics stats to tell me what’s rising or falling. That way I can show proof of the clients visitors pattern.

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        @dawgbone
        You’re not comparing sample sizes correctly.

        SC monitor 3 million sites but, unless those sites receive less than 50 visitors per month on average, it will have a larger sample.

        There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Then there are web statistics.

  • fvsch

    First, thanks for a nicely written article, Craig. But, like every time I’ve read an article on IE usage stats, I cringed.

    Those articles tend to follow this pattern:
    1. Repost some stats from a given source. Display in tables or graphs (screen capture from the source or custom graph).
    2. Offer a bit of analysis and commentary. Pick one noteworthy item for the article’s title. Highlight a few trends. Suggest possible evolutions (e.g. upcoming browser releases).

    This should make for great articles, but sadly it doesn’t. The problem with browser market share stats is that no existing source is reliable enough that it can be quoted alone.

    As it happens, while your source says “IE6 worldwide usage has fallen below 5%”, another one (Net Applications) is giving a 12% estimate. That’s a big difference. Which one is right? I’m afraid 12% is right—but there’s a catch.

    If you want me to explain a bit more, and distill a bit of advice to SitePoint readers on how to get and read browser usage stats, I’d be happy to write a guest post. (My contact info is at fvsch.com.)

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      Thanks fvsch.

      Unfortunately, all web statistics are flawed. I don’t think 5% is any more accurate than 12% — they’re both wrong!

      It’s more important to look at your own audience. I bet Apple.com doesn’t have many IE6 visitors, but it’d be a different matter for some large corporation/government intranets.

      I wrote a few articles about web statistics last year:
      http://blogs.sitepoint.com/website-statistics-reports-wrong-1/
      http://blogs.sitepoint.com/website-statistics-reports-wrong-2/

      • fvsch

        “Unfortunately, all web statistics are flawed. I don’t think 5% is any more accurate than 12% — they’re both wrong!”

        Well, statistics are flawed representations of reality. And techniques for client-side data collection (used by StatCounter and Net Applications) have limits. Then you have to get a representative sample or, if it can’t be representative, try to figure out how it’s biased and try to balance your results.

        But, from what I know about StatCounter and Net Applications stats, I can tell that the 12% figure is less wrong than the 5% one. If we use an arbitrary error margin for both figures, we could say that for worldwide IE6 usage share 9-16% is probably right, and 3-7% is probably wrong.

        I’m going to take two hours tomorrow to write a post about this. My offer to publish it on SitePoint still stands. ;)

      • awasson

        I just checked the stats of the top sites I manage and none have above 5% IE6 usage for the past 30 day period. Most are between 1% – 3% for IE6. These are sites for hotels, ecommerce and relatively high traffic from wide demographics.

      • fvsch

        Andrew, it all depends on your target demographic and country. The 5% figure (or lower) for IE6 is right for Europe and North America (in France we have around 2-5% IE6). The 12% figure is right for the global population, mostly thanks to the hundreds of millions of IE6 users in China. See http://www.ie6countdown.com/ (from Microsoft, with previously unpublished numbers from Net Applications).

  • wanderer

    “IE6 worldwide usage has fallen below 5%”
    oh holy #$%^, this can’t be true. if it will drop to 1% until the end of this year, i’m going to have a party and be drunk for a couple of weeks.

    ps. i guess safari’s 5% does not include mobile safari, so it has nothing to do with recent ipad hysteria.
    and i really would love to see more IE user switching to Chrome due to Google’s aggressive marketing. Chrome’s “you-won’t-even-notice” auto-update feature is a selling point for me.

    • Robbo

      “Chrome’s “you-won’t-even-notice” auto-update feature is a Reply
      selling point for me.”
      That’s a bad point for me. But I’m sure they allow you to change it. I still stick to Opera, best browser for my browsing. Chrome would easily be my preference if Opera wasn’t my main. And Firefox is only useful for development as far as I’m concerned. Although last time I looked at FFx 4 it impressed me a little.

      • Russ

        Robbo – I too love Opera but have never stayed with it for very long and I imagine the reason is a lot to do with other’s reasons for not doing so and its current status languishing at the bottom of the stats. This is a shame because it’s an awesome browser. The issue *I* think it suffers from is that Opera kept fiddling with the UI. I would just get used to how things were in Opera 7 and then come 8 and 9, menus got switched around. These sorts of things confuse me! I also switched from FF to Chrome but I just don’t like the fact I have to delve into a 2-3 level menu structure if I want to do anything more advanced than simple browsing.

        I’m back with FF now – I loves it!

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      The StatCounter Safari statistics do include separate entries for the iPad. It currently stands at 0.43% of all users — or just over 8% of Safari users.

  • johnk

    These numbers are from public sites.

    I have to deal with internal corporate sites. The IE6 usage we see overall is much higher. For some installations it is virtually all IE6, from the company installed OS image. These browsers don’t get out thru the company firewall and on to public statistics.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      Absolutely. Trust your own audience statistics above any global market share numbers.

      Besides, even if IE6 dropped to less than 1%, there’s a strong business case for supporting it.

      • Robbo

        And then fact that 1% is still a huge number of users.

  • John Mayes

    Chrome has it right. No messy version numbers. Auto-updating. Best for security in the long run. And best for developers.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnmayes

  • Name

    I used to have FF installed quite a while back and the only reason for it was a convenient way to control JavaScript on sites I visited. I am still testing the FF releases, but they don’t remain for too long on my HDD.

    By default JS is disabled in any browser I run and I only selectively enable it for sites or individual scripts, where I do either trust those or really need it/those.

    Everything else I wanted to see in a good browser was covered by Opera (out of the box). But since such an extension (NotScript) is available now also for SRWare Iron (Chromium based browser for those caring about privacy) as well as my first choice browser, Opera, there is no need for FF any more, which became more and more sluggish over time.

    Why add numerous add-ons to a browser, when you can have so much already included not slowing the browser down, causing conflicts etc. but have it out of the box?!

    Superior tab-management and it doesn’t matter whether it’s 2 tabs or 90 tabs, it doesn’t really affect the speed; built-in customizable speed-dial;RSS-feed reader;mouse gestures;e-mail client; session management which let’s you save a surf-session with not only all the tabs you had opened up but also their history; ad-blocker available for years now in the form of the filter list (and now don’t say, that you don’t know how to copy a file from A to B to put that in place) and also with extensions such as NoAds+; smart keyboard layout for keyboard shortcuts; server-like functionality by OperaUnite; a browser that sticks to web-standards, a really fast browser; built-in torrent downloader; built-in web-developer tools; let’s you take notes;reduce traffic volume if needed by using Opera turbo et cetera pp …

    So yes, I really find it difficult to understand why not more people use it, then again I am kind of thankful for this fact, as this results in this browser being way less often attacked than other browsers, which is another security plus.

    However, chacun à son goût

    (IE?! no thanks)

    • Ringsting of Fire

      Because it’s ugly

  • Andrew

    As usual, Apple hate with no basis: ‘especially when many of those users are prevented from using other browsers.’

    Obviously, Macs have the ability to get almost any browser since the beginning. These days Chrome, Firefox, and Opera mainly.

    On all iDevices, you can get Opera and Skyfire (uses Webkit; useful for streaming videos natively than through a dumb Flash container) and there are more browsers as well.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      Why isn’t that statement true?

      Apple ban any iDevice apps which allow the user to run non-authorised code. That includes JavaScript within a browser.

      Opera Mini is available on iDevices. It’s essentially the same browser as the one used on low-end mobiles. It doesn’t have client-side JS support so, other than rendering speed, it’s not really a match for Safari. There’s also a rumor Apple is stating the iPad version is for “over 17 year-olds only”!

      Skyfire is a Safari skin.

      • hurrying

        I don’t understand. The stats you are referring to are for desktop, right?

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        No, they’re for all devices. But — and this is the big one — many mobile browsers don’t run JavaScript so they won’t necessarily be detected by the analytics software. You won’t see Opera Mini in the list.

      • Aparajita

        >Apple ban any iDevice apps which allow the user to run non-authorised code. That includes JavaScript within a browser.

        There are half a dozen third party browsers for iOS, all of which run Javascript quite nicely. They are not “Safari skins”, they are built on WebKit. Safari itself is a skin on top of WebKit, and by the way so is google Chrome. So I guess Chrome is just a “Safari skin” too!

      • hurrying

        Opera Mini does run JavaScript, and both StatCounter and NetApplication are able to detect it.

        StatCounter keeps mobile stats separate, though.

        So again, your comments aren’t making a lot of sense.

      • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

        Opera Mini doesn’t run JavaScript on the client. Effectively, the Opera servers render a page into an efficient byte code which is downloaded. They an attempt to parse JavaScript on the server but it’s very limited.

        Opera Mobile is a full web browser with client-side JS support.

  • yogesh

    IE is always headache of software Engineer. Firefox is the best.

  • Daquan Wright

    It seems like things haven’t changed too much, except IE6 declining in general (which I love all the way). Still, you’ll need to measure your own user base.

    It’s always IE and Firefox in a dog fight for the longest now….with Chrome beating out Safari and Opera. I really wish Opera would get a bigger spot light, it’s a remarkable browser, but the marketing just isn’t there for such a great product.

    • Russ

      @Dequan Opera is awesome, slick and so is its website. I’ve seen the Opera devs at conferences and they’re extremely switched-on people. I too would like to see Opera increase its share. Given the right publicity I think perhaps it could overtake Chrome in time – the young upstart that it is! ;-)

  • hurrying

    “Nokia’s adoption of Windows Phone OS probably won’t help either.”

    I’m not sure how this is relevant to desktop browser share?

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      It’s sure to have an impact. Nokia is one of Opera’s biggest paying customers and the browser is installed on many devices by default. Opera provide their browser on Windows Mobile but will Nokia continue to use it and will Microsoft permit it?

      It may not have a detrimental effect on the desktop browser but it’s hardly a positive step for the company.

  • Michael

    I don’t think Chrome will plateau in the next 3 months. Eventually, yes, but not yet.

  • deathshadow

    THANK YOU

    For including the disclaimer that the number of users may not even have actually dropped over the sample period since the pool size changed. Could be as many people are using it as there were in november — could even be more… without knowing the size of the sample pools involved in the tests and the overall demographics, “Share” is meaningless drivel usually used by the underdogs to sound more important than they really are…

    … and it was really refreshing to see a sentence in one of these types of posts actually admit to that!

    • hurrying

      “”Share” is meaningless drivel usually used by the underdogs to sound more important than they really are…”

      Say what?

      It seems to me that it’s used by the dominant ones to “prove” that they are dominant.

      What are you talking about?

      • deathshadow

        I’m talking about the LIE most FF zealots use to claim their browser has had more impact on IE than it has. Putting aside how their pre-fetch artificially inflates their numbers, you have that you’ll ENDLESSLY hear people claiming IE has dropped in relevancy as it’s gone from 95% ‘share’ to 52% or less in a seven to eight year period.

        COMPLETELY missing the question “yeah, but a percent of what?”

        95% of 600 million (2003)… vs. 50% of just under 2 billion (2010)… Which means that while IE has “lost” share, it has in fact gained 400 million or more users, a GROWTH of 66%.

        Which means IE hasn’t “lost” anything.

        As I’ve said repeatedly, don’t let people use percentages to lie to you.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TSPDYG6GHKWPIDAREHWYLMR77M Awesome B

          I can assure you, if you have a large website, share is not meaningless drivel.

          If a company decides to drop compliance for a specific browser like when Youtube stopped supporting IE6, it was based on shares.

      • Paul McKeown

        Replying to “deafshouting”:

        IE’s stats are inflated – bazillions of downloads of conditional stylesheets, etc.

        IE6 is in terminal absolute decline in the developed economies of Europe, North America, Oz, etc. The stats are very clear, a relative market share of less than 5% in each and those markets are saturated in terms of desktop internet usage. Even in South Korea, which has been an oddity due to some daft government decisions over a decade ago, IE 6 usage is declining rapidly.

        The number of users in China and other rapidly developing economies is clearly nowhere near saturation. Many of those newcomers are using knocked off copies of XP and can’t upgrade. I don’t expect many of the readers of this site could be bothered to support those web users as the economic arguments are strongly against it. And even then, the statistics are that even in China, IE 6 usage is in absolute, not just relative decline.

        So, really, buddy, no one knows what all the deaf shouting is about.

  • Patrick Samphire

    I’ve been taking a trawl through my own web stats to see how IE6 stacks up. In most of my sites, IE6 is down to a fraction of 1%. I have one (small) site where it is about 2%, but that’s it. Firefox seems to top the stats, followed by Safari or IE8, then Chrome. Opera is way below even IE6.

    None of this necessarily carries through to anyone else’s sites, but it does tell me that most of the visitors to my sites are way past IE6 and that I really have no need to support them on similar sites. I can’t tell you how pleased that makes me feel… :)

  • Shif

    Opera % is sad, opera is such a great browser, it has way more functions and speed than firefox, i have used it since version 7 and i would choose any other default browser, btw IE is shit! its a pain in the a$$ that your pages work in all the browser but ie has something that makes u lose a lot of time fixing

  • Huiya

    Yeah, most of the people in my country use Microsoft XP and they think the e icon = internet. They won’t care about browser as long as they can browsing. But the people who know the difference will never use ie anymore

  • Herbert Peters

    @Craig Buckler

    “Despite it’s age, many people simply prefer XP. Besides, other than installing IE9, what can Vista/7 do which XP can’t?”

    Are you serious? I did prefer XP over Vista by a country mile. Never used it though. Win7 I like as much I do XP by now. From a security point of view, there is no reason to stay with XP. Besides can you configure XP with one click, that it enlaregs anything within any application you use? (Except for apps where developers used non recommend programming style). On security issues, I had it that same virus scanner software didn’t catch certain things when installed on XP, but did it job with Win7. And the reason is not all alone with the virus scanner software, but on XP’s OS architecture, which has aged.

    Can you run an older MS OS on XP simultaneously? In developing apps, even webapps. that is a big help. I could go on, but I don’t really want to promote Windows.

    Instead of asking what more can I do, sometimes we need to ask the question, what cannot be happening to a newer OS, what still can happen to an older OS.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      I use Windows 7 and prefer it. XP looks antiquated when I go back. However, bar a few graphical niceties, XP does what 7 does — it runs Windows applications.

      If security is the only reason to move OS, you’d be better off switching to Linux. I’m quite cynical about security scare mongering — any popular OS is a target for hackers and Windows 7 security will never be perfect.

      Can you run an older/newer OSs on XP simultaneously? Absolutely. VMware, VirtualBox and Virtual PC all do it fine. Windows 7 has XP mode — that’s handy, but it’s still running a VM.

      You also need to ask yourself why Windows 7 has XP mode. The primary reason is to help people run applications which work fine in XP but not in the newer OS.

      XP will eventually die and that’s fine. However, I’m being realistic — it won’t happen soon.

      • Christo

        Yeah,

        Windows 7 looks nicer because they STOLE Macintoshs OS Chrome Ideas! Just like they steal everything else.

        For example:
        Arial is an obvious ripoff of Helvectica, just to save Microsoft a few pennies…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TSPDYG6GHKWPIDAREHWYLMR77M Awesome B

          Ok, Arial vs. Helvetica was what? 20 years ago?

          Any idiot can tell you that with Win 7 they tried to make the GUI better and tried to give it the same priority as Apple does, but copying…

          You’d have to an ignorant blind-man to look and use Windows 7 and think it’s a rip off of Mac OS. The GUI and UX differences are dramatically noticeable.

          This isn’t Windows 1.0 versus Mac OS or 1984 anymore. If you like Apple products, go buy them. Don’t like Microsoft products, don’t buy them. Drumming 20 year old sins and claiming them as modern day ones without real experience, weak.

  • cotsweb

    My theory is that we will see a new version of IE8, perhaps they will call it IE8.5, which will incorporate a lot of the features from IE9 and will run on older versions of Windows. Although Internet Explorer version 8.5 will never be as fast or as secure as IE9 it could use the same techology to render webpages and so be a good interim step. It could be distributed through Windows Update (as IE8 was) and so would keep the average Windows/XP user on a Microsoft Browser until they are ready to upgrade to Windows 7.
    I made a blog post about a year ago which I think is still relevant.
    Microsoft know that more than half their customers still use XP and that this situation will continue for years to come. People will move on to Windows 7 when they get a new PC but not many will upgrade to Windows 7 on an old PC.
    So people who have XP will see other browsers which are much nicer than IE8 and gradually shift over to them because they can’t move forward to IE9. This trend will accelerate as the newer browsers get further and further ahead of IE8.
    The only way for Microsoft to avoid losing all these customers to other browsers is to upgrade IE8, once people migrate away from IE they won’t come back. When they buy a new Windows 7 PC the first thing they will do is install their favourite browser, they will have no attachment to IE9.

  • Sphamandla

    Im surprised there are still people using IE6 but why though ?

    • Christo

      SOme companies and government agencies have computer systems which are ‘locked’ meaning there IT depts have secured them for privacy and security.
      This means they are unable to install software or upgrade it.

      Until government agencies IT depts get with the times and upgrade these dinosaur setups we will be stuck with IE6 for a while yet.
      Maybe even another 5 years!

  • cjtech

    Two years ago I did some research on trying to detect reliably for IE and found that the information being sent to servers by windows was identical for ie, firefox and opera.
    So, any stats before then I would seriously discount as being unreliable – especially ones that say ie had 60%+.
    If you want you can read the article I wrote about this…
    http://geek-zone.yourwebreference.com/2009/02/12/Web_Browser_Statistics_Are_Lies_Microsoft_Fraudulently_Alters_Information

  • bharat thapa

    I’ve tried everything and i would say the lightest and the faster browser is opera 11, extremely lite and scrolling is so amazing with so many widget features, earlier i was using chrome but now chrome turned out to be a disaster, frequent crashes made my mind change and thought of giving opera a try and seriously i am loving it.
    IE i dont even bother to look at it, my second option is firefox always but it lags at times.

  • abhi

    iv worked on all these browsers and safari is a class apart in both speed and robustness and damn good features of safari 5. it works as fine on windows as on the Mac. IE is damn slow. Chrome crashes and is not d least robust browser. firefox doesnt look interestng at all n opera is gud suited to cell phones. Just try safari 5 if u hvnt. Apple products are class apart.

  • Jacob Kennedy

    This is very true. I’ve spoken to many people who open “Google” to browse the web. The concept of a desktop application is completely foreign to some people and the browser wars are completely irrelevant. Whatever gets them to The Google…

  • http://www.facebook.com/cormacoc Cormac O Connor

    Apple seems to have what some would call a monopoly or at least a huge share in the mobile/tablet market and as you pointed out they give no option but to use Safari. Using your dominance in one market to give you an advantage in another? didn’t Microsoft get in trouble for something very similar in the past?