I read this article on Digg, but I didn’t bother to mention it for some reason. But Tay brought something very interesting (and completely expected, when you think about it) in relation to it, so now I must mention it! In a very unexpected turn of events, it would seem that Internet Explorer 8 (yes, they’re still cranking out IE. Did you think 7 was the last one?) is standards-compliant now. It would seem that IE8 passes what’s called the Acid2 test. This is a good thing, right? Of course it is! It’s what everyone’s been asking for since IE6! Finally, Microsoft got something proper, this time! Anyone would agree! No more writing around IE’s inherent flaws in rendering, and this time, if something shows up wrong, it’s probably your code instead of IE8!
Actually, no. There’s someone who doesn’t agree. Of course there is…. There’s always someone out there vocal enough and insane enough to say that even when Microsoft does what people want, it won’t matter. People complain about something, Microsoft fixes it, and people just find something else to complain about. (Example: People complain about drivers smashing Windows XP and to get all that stuff out of the kernel. Windows Vista does that, but I think you can tell what people think about Vista. I’m waiting for Vista SP1 to come out so I can flaunt when people said they wouldn’t touch Vista until it came out… You just know that it’s only a front to dodge the shots that they have an inherent, inexplicable hate for Microsoft, and that they’ll find someone else to complain about when SP1 arrives.)
This guy pulls random charts out of his bu-… Erm, ahem… Out of his website’s logs, and attempts to prove that people won’t use IE8 by showing that the majority of his visitors are predominantly Firefox and/or still IE6 users. That’s right. He’s using logs from his own blog that is all about technology. I highly doubt that the regular Joe who uses what browser Windows gives him will be visiting that site. Take my site, for example, even! Everyone I know uses Firefox or Safari. As far as I know, I’m the only one using Opera. Actually, here! I can post my Google Analytics logs, too:
As you can see, clearly, Firefox dominates, with IE at a distant second place. What does that mean? It means, quite simply, that the people who visit my site use Firefox the most. Generally speaking, the people who find my site most interesting also think that Firefox is best. My site isn’t exactly a public necessity, now, is it? All this tells me if that my friends use Firefox the most. If you wanted to get a good idea of what browsers the general public used, you’re going to have to ask Yahoo or Google or YouTube or MySpace or something that everyone uses. But let’s take a closer look at the logs that tell me what version of Internet Explorer everyone uses, shall we?
Huh… Look at that. 63% of the visitors who use Internet Explorer are using the latest one. It’s a bit of a wider gap than the logs the other guy pulled out, eh? For kicks, let’s look at what versions of Firefox people are using!
Pretty much the same as the other guy’s. 18.104.22.168 (wow, what a version, what is that? Major.Minor.Patch.what? What comes after Patch? Hotfix?) is the lead, of course, because it’s the latest. But, hmm… Do you want to know why everyone upgraded Firefox? Is it because they’re security conscious and want the latest little itty-bitty third-point release? Maybe! I’m going to bet, though, it’s because Firefox pops up a window when you start it and it keeps bugging you to upgrade to the latest obscure version. You know, I’ll also bet that if Internet Explorer did that, more people would upgrade, but… I’m also willing to bet that if Internet Explorer popped up an upgrade window like that, people would be extremely upset and complain that Microsoft is trying to cram upgrades down their throats. So, as it is, you have to run Windows Update and manually choose to install Internet Explorer 7, or download it from Microsoft.com.
My ultimate point is this:
Internet Explorer 8 passes standards. This is a very, very, very good thing for web designers. After so long of complaining to Microsoft that their program doesn’t work the way it should, it finally does! However, there are people out there who, after complaining for so long, keep complaining because… Why? I don’t think anyone really knows besides the fact that it’s cool to whine about Microsoft. They’ll pull out logs of their little bit of the internet and say “Look! Look! IE6 is still almost half of the market share! Here’s the proof” when their tiny little site about the latest in-depth technological posts are probably going to attract people who are interested in that sort of stuff, and probably don’t even use Windows in the first place.
It’s the Browser Wars all over again, and I know people have their favorites. Mine, personally, is Opera, but I also use Firefox (my third choice), and Internet Explorer 7 (my second choice), and I keep them upgraded and I use them all for different purposes. (Safari, by the way, is installed, but I only use it to make sure my site shows up properly.) I’m just saying… Try to keep an open mind, will you? It’s a good thing IE8 is standards-compliant, and some of you need to get off your soapbox for 5 seconds and give Microsoft some credit. (And stow the “about time” comments.) Ah, but that’s a little too much to ask, isn’t it… These are the same people want Microsoft to get more in tune with the general user, but they aren’t willing to tell Microsoft about what they generally use their computer for. (Which, by the way, I asked anyone to tell me how else Microsoft could learn how to “get in touch” with the general user, but, as I predicted, I received no comments.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a room to finish cleaning for company tomorrow!