When publishing recent post on CSS3 and HTML5, I started wondering about browser compatibility. What's the point in using state of the art technologies when - potentially - only few browsers can benefit from it?
Recently some well known blogs have published statistics about browsers popularity and so I thought I should share some thoughts about it.
Let's start from the statistics from the last 12 months:
Please notice that sometimes the source site for the graph is slow in responding due to the high number of requests. Try to reload the page if the graph is not visible.
Looking at the above bar chart, we can surely say that something has happened in the last 12 months.
Because Internet Explorer has been for a long time web developers first source of trouble (for its well known incompatibility issues), I happily noticed that IE6 usage is finally decreasing. But, coding wise, IE7 is still very strong. Possibly, with the introduction of IE9, those old version of the Microsoft browser will definitely be abandoned by die-hard fan.
Firefox is very strong, and - I suspect - it is mostly used by tech geeks. That means that the average Firefox user likes to stay updated; in fact older versions have quite small percentage of use (I'm referring to version 3.5 and 3.0).
Surprisingly Chrome 5.0 is still slightly more used than Chrome 8.0, while Safari is used by less than the 4% of people.
In the end, new CSS properties or HTML tags are probably way too new for standard users. Trying to develop cross-browser solutions will be more and more difficult in the future, however if we - the developers - don't start using new stuff, will they ever start updating their browser compatibility?