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Browser Trends ‘07

Wednesday, 24 January 2007 2007 browsers firefox ie7 seopher technology

Seopher has just posted his predictions on browser usage statistics entitled: Browser stats 2007 - Firefox for the win. From the title you can clearly see who he things the winner is going to be. Here is the graph I’ve stolen from his article (© Seopher.com):

Browser usage graph

But I disagree!

IE7 is not going to have such a rubbish year that it only ends up +5% from today. Why? Because the behemoth that is Microsoft is pushing out their latest interpretation on how an operating system should look: Vista.

Steve’s stats have vista dropping 4% the month that Vista sees its full month in the public domain. That’s just silly. IE7 ships with Vista and therefore the IE7 user-base is going to rise in-line with the Vista user-base. I expect that in 12 months time, IE7 will have around 30-40% of the browser market.

Steve is (out of desperation, I think) saying that IE5 usage will drop off this year. The stats from w3schools have it at about 3% of the market at the moment. My stats are somewhere just under 1% but still. I don’t think that people that have already left that foul creation live so long are going to see Vista and go: “Wow I need a new browser!” I think what is more likely is that those installations will carry on existing until the computers die so of 3% I think we might see that drop to nothing (or thereabouts) over the next three years, but no sooner.

Opera is also getting more and more use in non-PC platforms that I don’t think the w3schools stats take into account. I also know Opera used to hide its user agent string… Have things changed?

As for Firefox: I think Steve’s right in saying they’re going places. With constant overhauls and patching (there was an excellent patch for Vista released this evening, by the way!), they should be able to convince more and more people over to the platform. Hopefully the web-application development community will feel this shift and stop making IE-only apps that keep people on IE against their will.