We`ve been keeping an eye on which browsers are being used by people visiting our site. For the first time, this week, Firefox (FF) has pulled ahead by a clear margin. It`s been interesting, watching the growing number of FF visitors, but not particularly useful data, so I thought I`d open up a topic.
Obviously, Internet Explorer (IE) isn`t going to go away anytime soon. We also see a regular presence of Safari (Mac) and Chrome (from Google), although the numbers for the latter two are so small as to be insignificant. Still, they`re consistent.
It seems that whenever you get a site nicely put together in FF, then test it in IE, inevitably Microsoft gums up the works. They seem to be grudgingly coming around to the belief that they`re not the only people in the computer business, but only grudgingly.
One simple example would be transparent .PNG files, relative to IE 6.x and 7.x. There are many other examples.
Where do you folks see Microsoft as a company, IE, and Firefox in the coming years? Will we still be using browsers similar to what we have today? How much do you count Firefox into your ecommerce development and display efforts?
Given limited development funds, would you be willing to reduce the sophistication of your site if it meant better compatibility between IE and FF? How much is the combination of that compatibility and "cool" worth?
Think about the extra effort, time and labor a designer/developer has to apply in order to "fix" the problems that show up in IE after a site`s been developed. Would you rather foot the bill, or reduce your expectations in order to have a site that works the same across all browsers?
In some ways, the same question applies in terms of accounting for dial-up users. At what point does the benefit of classy functionality and broadband outweigh the continually diminishing audience of dial-up users? Only in this particular topic, it`s not about dial-up, it`s about incompatibilities.
Microsoft has announced layoffs for the first time in my memory. Vista failed utterly, and Windows 7 appears to be mostly a major repair job. They`ve agreed that XP is still so prevalent that they`ll need to support it for a bit longer. They`re focused so much on superficialities, I wonder if they`ve lost touch with reality.
Do you think IE will recover a dominant position in market share?