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Persistent hype about Firefox
July 1, 2008|Blatherings

Persistent hype about Firefox

One persitent trend I really enjoy about blogging is the outlandish claims that are made with no supporting data or apparent research. I was reading my email this morning, and I come across the usual spam from SitePoint (sometimes good, sometimes not) and I read that IE is on track to go the way of the Dodo. Intrigued I follow the link only to find a narrow view of reality based only on a single sites statistics that IE will meet its demise in 2013. Pardon me for finding this a bit hard to swallow, not to mention just a wee bit arrogant. The presumption that SitePoint is a litmus test for the browser health of the web is a bit of a stretch to say the least, so to make the leap to say that IE will cease to be used based solely on the visitor trending for this site strikes me as nothing more than SEO/SEM spam to get more hits.

It's just as easy to find sites where the IE to Firefox ration is heading the other way, or remaining quite static or lower than the average as reported by the W3C. This site averages 31% Firefox and has been about that for some time, while another site I administer averages 24% Firefox up from 19% last year, compared to the averages of 2008 (39%) and 2007 (36%). The stats do support a regular growth in Firefox, and reduction in IE users, but it isn't so fast or dramatic to warrant any near-term speculation about the demise of IE as a web browser.

While there have been many predictions about whether or not Firefox will overtake IE which have fallen flat, it is refreshing and encouraging to see a good browser get a more persistent and growing foothold among non-technical users. The growth of Firefox is not on the fast-track to eclipse IE anytime soon. Most folks just don't care, and simply use what comes on their computer when they buy it, and IE is always there. The real benefit from all of this pontificating is that Microsoft is building IE better with every version and becoming more standards aware in their builds. IE 8 is a huge step forward for how well IE renders the web.

Any way, for the foreseeable future IE and Microsoft will have a significant web presence and all of the blog posts in the world aren't going to change that, which quite frankly everyone should be thankful for. Without competition products grow stale, and if Firefox or Opera, or some new browser became the only kid on the block – how would that be any different than what IE was just a few years ago?

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