Home > Uncategorized > Alternative Browsers gaining on Internet Explorer

Alternative Browsers gaining on Internet Explorer

November 2, 2004

According to figures released by web analytics provider WebSideStory, alternative web browsers experienced another month of growth at the expense of Microsoft’s dominant Internet Explorer. Mozilla and Firefox experienced the largest increase of a 6% market share while Opera and Apple Computer’s Safari combined reached just more than 1 percent of users. IE is currently used by 92.9% of Internet users a 0.8% drop from September.

Statistics are often misleading as they mostly come from the User-Agent header, which identifies the name of the browser. Some sites require an Internet Explorer User-Agent header to allow access to the website, though other browsers would display it just fine. As a result many browsers, including Opera, have a feature to fake the User-Agent header they send to the server to say that it is an Internet Explorer browser, only to get access to sites whose webmasters are just focused on Microsoft. This has a strong influence on the statistics. Those tools that produce the statistics for usage of browsers in their default configuration don’t handle such faked log entries correctly.

To change the User-Agent header in Opera, press F12 and click on “Identify as Opera”. This will help all of us, as Opera users, to force webmasters to create standard compliant sites.

Another reason why the statistics are skewed is that different sites attract different audiences. Some web sites attract advanced users with technical skills, which more often use secure Browsers and dislike MSIE, other sites attract hobbyists using older low spec browser.

Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: