Web Developers Watch IE Market Share Racing Downhill

The steady slide in Microsoft's share of the overall Web browser market with Internet Explorer inspires glee in some folks. One quarter sees the lessening of its dominance as a move toward a less "boring" Web development environment. Variety is the spice of life and all that. Others see growing numbers for browsers like Firefox as validation of the open source philosophy and/or strategy and quicker release of features and fixes, or increased usage of Chrome as evidence that the "good" Google will soon prevail over the "evil" Microsoft. And the rest of us are just left worried about which browser is most safe to use -- or which two or three we should juggle.


IE's December market share fell to its lowest level, reports Net Applications: 68.15 percent, down from 69.77 percent in November. Chrome, meanwhile, inched over 1 percent for the first time. And Firefox nabbed 21.34 percent, after having stayed above 20 percent for the full month of November, a first for the browser.


For Web app developers, it may be less boring, but it's getting a bit more confusing by the day. You've got to develop and test for two major browsers and, depending on what you're building, and whether your users will be interacting with folks on other browser, you've got to establish a policy on when you test for Safari, or Chrome, or Mozilla, or a select set of mobile browsers. And some time in the not so distant future, IE will lose its majority share. What then? Until that time, this TechNewsWorld piece (with different market share numbers from W3 Schools) offers advice on how to balance those decisions to best serve users -- and not be bored doing it.

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