Is Internet Explorer 7 usage dropping?
written by craig, 25 February 2007
Between 1996 and 2001, Microsoft released seven versions of Internet Explorer (counting v5.5). Each improved on the previous version and I, along with most other users, installed them with trembling anticipation!
However, IE7 provides web developers with a dilemma. Many users will install it, but many users won’t – especially those using XP SP1 or below. So it’s necessary to test both IE6 and IE7 independently.
Unfortunately, Microsoft does not provide an easy way to run different versions of IE on the same PC. There are workarounds, but most developers still use a single version of IE for their initial testing.
I have held off upgrading on my primary PC and intend to wait until usage hits 50% of the IE market share. Until a few weeks ago, that had almost happened on the sites where I generate statistics.
But then, IE7 usage dropped. During the past few weeks, the split has become 60:40 in IE6’s favour. Could this be for one or more of the following reasons?
- It’s just a short-term statistical anomaly.
- Was my IE7 usage unnaturally high during the previous months?
- Are people having problems with IE7? Are they uninstalling it and returning to IE6?
- Are people unimpressed by the browser? Are they trying alternatives such as Firefox, Opera and Safari? Certainly Firefox usage has increased during the same period.
- Is Vista having an effect? Does the Vista browser report itself as IE7?
It’s possibly too early to make any assumptions, but has anyone noticed the same pattern?