Saturday, March 06, 2010

This confuses me.

Okay, so some folks are holding a mock funeral for Internet Exploder* 6. Normally, this wouldn't rate an iota of attention from me because A) I haven't used any version of Exploder for at least five years and B) Going to a funeral for a web browser is about the most depressing and sad, yet marginally social, thing a nerd could do. However in reading the article, a purported factoid caught my eye:
IE8 commanded 22.5 percent of the browser market last month, according to NetMarketShare, an analytics firm. Despite its age, IE6 still held on to 19.8 percent of the market in February -- more than IE7. Overall, Internet Explorer remains by far the most commonly used Web browser, ahead of Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
Huh?

I checked VFTP's SiteMeter:

Granted, that's just the last hundred visitors, and so it can be skewed pretty easily, like by that one person using IE6. So let's try a larger sample; Google Analytics can toss out the data for the last umpty-whatever users. The default setting is for the last month, and according to them, VFTP visitors have been browsing thusly:


Which again doesn't add up to a dominating share for IE. So what's up? Are y'all just that much more savvy than the 'net populace in general, or what?



PS: Although here's an interesting demographic nugget:


Note that people who come here from SurvivalBlog are using the browser that came in the box by an almost 2-to-1 margin. Mr. Rawles needs to get Borepatch to do a sermon on 'net security.


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*Normally I frown on clever spellings like "Windoze" or "Shrubya" or "Obambi" or whatever. I am guilty of a few myself, though: I've been calling it "Device Mangler" since Win 3.x, and "Exploder" for as long as there's been one. Heck, I refer to a certain AR-15 manufacturer as "Bushhamster" so often that I've accidentally written it that way in the Bound Book at least once. Mea maxima culpa.

35 comments:

Joseph said...

Presumably, their stats would include a rather large number of business machines that would probably be running IE as the default browser. Even in my office where folks can choose, over half use IE. Now couple that with those "work" machines not coming to your blog because of it being locked out or those folks, you know, working and you have skewed stats.

I would think that most visitors are recreational in nature and thus business machines won't be coming here.

Phillip said...

<< So what's up? Are y'all just that much more savvy than the 'net populace in general, or what?>>

Yes. :-)

You'd be amazed how many new clients I get that don't have a clue that other browsers even exist. I'm a computer tech / technology consultant and focus on small businesses.

Scott said...

We're more savvy and on a work related note I call a certain model of Ford SUV an Exploder.

Tam said...

"I would think that most visitors are recreational in nature and thus business machines won't be coming here."

You'd be surprised at the number of loyal VFTP readers at .mil and .gov addresses. If they're slacking off on my dime, at least they're showing good taste while doing so. ;)

Don Meaker said...

From work, the machines are all IE6

T.Stahl said...

..., like by that one person using IE6.

Here! That must be me.

Anonymous said...

"Normally I frown on clever spellings like "Windoze" or "Shrubya" or "Obambi" or whatever. I am guilty of a few myself"

I heartily agree, but for some reason I have an immature fondness for "Rachel Madcow"

BobG said...

"Are y'all just that much more savvy than the 'net populace in general, or what?"

Of course we are; we come here every morning, don't we?

Don said...

I wouldn't put that "Bushhamster in the bound book" thing out on the internet if I were you. Bobbi is going to be mad if BATFE comes in and stomps her cats to death over it.

WV: Coniness. Adjective. Resemblance to a rabbit, or "coney." "The coniness of the Illinois GOP can be surprising if you aren't used to it. If you can't find an Illinois Republican, check under the table; he may have been startled by a loud noise."

Tam said...

"I wouldn't put that "Bushhamster in the bound book""

It was corrected per regs. The inspector (the one with the sense of humor) thought it was pretty funny, actually.

ChrisTheEngineer said...

How dare you put data in a blog post! What do facts have to do with the truth?

Joanna said...

I use IE6 for most of my visits to your site, but that's because they're from my work computer -- if I had my druthers, it'd be Firefox or IE8 all the way. (Seriously, I need a minimum of three browser windows open at any one time to do my job. Tabs, people! Pleeze!)

CGHill said...

I pulled my last 4000 SiteMeter entries at hand (the sole advantage of sending them money on occasion) and wound up with an even split: 38 percent Firefox, 38 percent IE. Most of the rest are using Safari, with Google's Chrome claiming 3 percent.

perlhaqr said...

There's a distressing number of IE6 machines still out there on the 'net, which is bad, because people are still finding exploits for it, and Microsoft isn't updating it any more. (For obvious reasons.)

Any .edu using Banner and the stock Java plugin has a lot of IE6 machines about, as that's all that will work with that. Pretty chintzy for a multi-zillion dollar piece of software (that's a giant flaming hunk of crap, to boot.)

Borepatch said...

I kind of wish they'd have buried IE7, too. IE8 is a LOT more secure (kudos to Microsoft, who actually have drunk the "get better security" kool aid).

A great deal of the current state of Internet Security can be explained by the old adage of how the Lord was able to create the entire Heavens and Earth on only six days. He had no installed base to support.

For what it's worth, I'm seeing a majority of users on Firefox, with another 10% or so on (Opera + Safari). IE seems to be roughly a third of my traffic (most of which is undoubtedly Mom and Dad and the Mrs.).

Borepatch said...

OBTW, there's quite a long history of clever misspellings in hacker culture. The Jargon File is sort of the "Oral Tradition" that's been captured.

Warning: you can lose a LOT of time there, if you're anything like me.

Breda said...

That one IE6 user would be me, reading your blog at work. The library computers suck.

Les Jones said...

Blog readers tend to be a lot more "leet" than the average Internet user. You've got a fair amount of traffic for a blog, but your traffic is massively outnumbered by people who only use the Internet to check their lottery numbers.

Steve said...

I'm probably in that 20% IE7, but like Breda (and .gov & .mil), from work (but on my own time, honest).

Unless I'm looking from home, where I'm stuck with IE6 (on a Win 2kPro) machine (but only for a little while longer - I bought Win 7 and am working on getting things upgraded).

Brian J. said...

A lot of corporations still ride IE 6 for two reasons: the cost to upgrade X number of machines and because they spent a lot of money back when they had it building internal Web applications tailored to IE 6, and they'll be damned if they're going to rewrite them for IE 8.

I do freelance QA on Web sites, and I always tell the Web designers to check what the client is using. Web designers weep when they find the clients are still on IE 6. But better find that it out early.

As a matter of fact, one of the main customer complaints for a client doing Web contests stemmed from the fact that users were still out there navigating the site using Web TV and could not enter the contests.

og said...

I am oine of the IE8 users. The other computer still has 6. Ain't broke. Handful of VPN equipment I use is stuck on 6 and won't play nice with anything else.

DirtCrashr said...

As an aside there are some browser user-drones who never go on the InterWebbz, a desk-chained business class segment that doesn't get out much as it were.

My wife is forced to use IE to browse and execute server-side application functions for all her intra-web data-handling applications at the WestCoast BigPrivate Universitoid because the non-standard coding hooks enacted in Exploder that make it so dangerous on the outside make it easy for Oracle drones to program for it. Because in a fit of academic pique and derangement syndrome they bought vast swaths of vanilla Oracle and it requires them to do it that way with their cheap vanilla crapware - cheaper anyhow than maintaining a staff of Universitron legacy system analysts to write real-function mainframeware and who receive expensive benefits, vacation accrual, and salaries.
Some BizSkool Genius earned his bonus-package by selling "Save-A-Buck-Now" as a package deal, and passing diminishing-expectations of skills forward to the next generation to attempt to recover - reminds me a bit of Social Secruitey. All the things they used-to do (and a lot of knowledge) that they can't do now - AND they have to hire more people to do things that still need doing (that doesn't go away). They didn't save much in the end but they got rid of a lot of expensive overhead and brought in cheap young know-nothings, fresh tofu-talent for the Univerisigrinder.

Richard said...

My favorite term for IE is "Intranet Explorer", because that's the only time I use it. General web browsing? Never. (In fact, that goes for Windows, too.)

One thing might skew your results: a lot of 'sophisticated' users (who don't use IE) will be reading your blog through RSS feeds, with actual hits to your page from those people limited to visits to post comments. They won't show up in your stats.

The proportion of your readers who actually use IE for their browsing is thus probably even lower than the stats report.

kishnevi said...

I normally read your blog with Firefox, but reasons unknown to me, something is screwed up between Firefox, my ISP and certain sites, so when I want to comment here or on any Blogger blog, I can't use it. I can't use Firefox to read webmail,post to my blog, to do orders on (not that I actually shop via the 'Net), or--most absurdly--download Firefox extensions (including the extension I've been told will correct this problem). Opera is not quite as bad, but still won't do all sites; and there is one place I must use Opera for--neither Firefox nor IE6 work there. So the Unholy Spirit moves me to comment, I have to open up your blog with IE6. Just like I'm doing now.

As to why I'm using IE6--let me just say that IE7 is the worst virus to ever hit my computer. Until I uninstalled it, I couldn't use half of the programs on my machine (including, again absurdity striking, IE7). So I am a little leery of downloading IE8. I also learned from that little incident not to allow automatic downloads from Windows update, and to get alternate browsers. Yes, IE7 is what prompted me to start with Firefox. I'm not a very tech oriented person, so I've always taken whatever comes in the box.

CarlS said...

Hmmm - the last time I read a security survey, lab tests showed that IE8 was the most secure (Yes, they included Firefox in the tests.). Now, assuming one knows how to properly secure a machine and an internet gateway router (hint: NSA publishes a 'How to secure' for each O/S and each firewall.) why would one wish to add extra layers to the mix, especially unneeded layers? 'Course, I don't care one way or the other; I just get so tired of the Firefox is better mantra.

Ian Argent said...

Posting from Chrome because that was what I had open; normally I'll use either FF (at work, sort of), Opera Mobile, or IE 8 at home (or whatever FeedDemon shows up as - I suspect IE8).

BTW, kishnevi, stand off and reformat from orbit - there is something WAY badly screwed up on your machine.

ravenshrike said...

Every public library I've been to still uses IE6. Very annoying.

Dixie said...

1) I love the "Internet Exploder" bit because you can rename the desktop shortcut that and nobody will notice.

2) There's another person here who uses SeaMonkey?

Tam said...

CarlS,

"Hmmm - the last time I read a security survey, lab tests showed that IE8 was the most secure..."

Yes, I've heard the same thing.

I don't much have a dog in the fight. Getting passionate about a favorite Web Browser is only marginally less nerdy than having a strong preference in Starfleet captains. ;)

Ian Argent said...

Oh, yeah, +1 on corporate IT who don't update from IE6. Though some machines have snuck in with IE7 in my dept; which causes problems with some LoB apps...

OTOH, I don't browse outside the company intranet because of it.

WV: whingu - when your computer dies, it dissoves into a pile of wingu

Sean D Sorrentino said...

My company has hit upon a novel idea to prevent me from using the company computer to surf the internet. They wrote all the proprietary applications for IE6 and locked down my (HOME!!!) desktop, preventing me from using a modern browser. How much more secure is a browser that doesn't even work!!! I hatesss them.

IZinterrogator said...

I'm willing to bet that 75% or more of the Opera Mini hits are from me on my Blackberry when I'm at work but not at my .mil computer.

wrm said...

I had to scroll up to see what you were on about, I parse hacksterisms as correct and sometimes do a double-take on the correct term.

ESR is a relatively newly converted gun nut too. And a deep thinker and good writer. Worth checking out (a time sink, as noted, beware).

tomcatshanger said...

IE 8 is more stable than Firefox on my home machine. I use different browsers for different things, but have migrated away from Firefox at home for blog reading simply because IE8 doesn't freak out on some content like Firefox does.

I use Firefox at work cause we are on IE6 pending upgrade to Win7, and practically the entire web has stopped supporting IE6.

Adrian K said...

My website doesn't get the level of traffic that yours does, Tam, but out of 3200 unique visits this past month I'm seeing about 20% usage of IE6.