Internet Explorer, as a whole, has the greatest market share of web browsers currently. If you don’t believe me, I’d like to recommend you to a visually pleasing version of these facts. Colorful, right? Now, as you can see, recently Firefox has been gaining a large amount of this share. Personally, I feel this is a good thing, as I’m a bit of a fanboy when it comes to browser wars. However, I maintain that a person should use a browser based on how much they like it, and how much flexibility it offers to the user, as well as the protection it can provide to one’s personal computer.
But, there’s a problem.
Only recently, Internet Explorer 6 has seen a drop-off of usage. Yet, it maintains about 15% of the market share as a whole.
What does this mean, exactly?
Well, it means that 15% of internet users do not experience things such as tabbed browsing, proper internet security, and do not have the ability to browse as quickly due to problems hard-coded within IE6. Also, due to the sizeable chunk of market share that IE6 still maintains, it means that quite a few web developers have to make accommodations for these users, usually by providing a bare-bones version of the site with many imploring messages to upgrade.
If you’re stuck at a business where this is the default browser that cannot be changed by a mere mortal, perhaps you could inform your boss of the advantages that a newer browser has to offer. You’d need more research than the ravings of a loon on the Internet, of course, but it could be a win-win situation.
If you are a home user that still uses IE6, then I have gone out of my way to provide you with links to more effective browsers. Again, use what’s comfortable for you…but consider how much more secure you’ll be by upgrading, and by how much happier the web developer community will be when you make the switch.
Google Chrome (Uses DNS Prefetching to speed up results)
Mozilla Firefox 3.5.3 (Very customizable through add-ons – My personal recommendation)
Internet Explorer 7 (Uses Tabbed Browsing, better security than previous version)
Internet Explorer 8 (Latest iteration, not much commentary as I haven’t used this much)
Opera 10 (I haven’t used this, but, feel free to give it a try)
Safari 4 (While this probably has the most visually appealing opening screen, my Internet limitations have rendered me unable to truly test this browser)
There are other browsers out there, too, although they probably aren’t as well known. Even just a small step like this allows the Internet community to prosper by moving on to bigger and better web…thingies.
Let the Prolonged Use of IE6 Die