Browser Wars

I distinctly remember celebrating Firefox’s achievement of 25% usage, 2-3 years ago. “We’re not irrelevant anymore” was the war cry. When you’re at 25%, web sites have to cater to you. You’re not an-0.1% statistic, easily let go for using the newest doodad on the web site. So I wondered why I was not more excited that IE has fallen below 50%. And then I realized — those browser wars have been won. You have to cater to the HTML4/CSS3 browsers. Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera have a long history of being fairly compliant with web standards, and as a bloc, they have already achieved presence. The 50% milestone is noteworthy, but not exciting.

The next milestone I am waiting for? Well, there are a couple of those.

  1. IE6 becoming small enough to ignore (anecdotal evidence suggests that techie-oriented web sites get 1.5% IE6 usage). This means being able to avoid a lot of hacks on modern web sites.
  2. IE<9 becoming small enough to ignore (Canvas becomes a viable standard)
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