IE/Netscape Stats from Zvon
Thursday October 7th, 1999
Miloslav Nic writes, "I have an anecdotal evidence about the ratio of Netscape and IE advanced users. If you look at the October statistics of the Zvon tutorials : XSL, XML, CSS, Perl it gives the ratio Netscape 58 : IE 42. These tutorials are used by people who are interested in the newest web developments and who are therefore more picky about the browser they use than an average user. So even today's Netscape 4 is preferred by many power users to IE5. And NC4 is definitively not a software pearl. If Mozilla 5 is out with full CSS, HTML 4, XML, DOM and XSLT compatibility and with reasonable size then IE is in a big trouble."
If you think that's a good percentage, you should see the stats from MozillaZine! :-)
>If you think that's a good >percentage, you should see the >stats from MozillaZine! :-)
I wonder if that is a biased number. I wonder how what browser most <http://www.microsoft.com/ie> hits come from.
Probably significantly less than windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
At least <http://www.microsoft.com/ie> can be viewed with Netscape; the other cannot.
Hmm. I play with both IE5 and Communicator 4 (and Mozilla of course), but whenever I go to microsoft.com, or more particularly msdn.microsoft.com I use IE pretty much exclusively because you get an IE4+ DHTML interface, whilst Netscape users are confronted with a flat HTML interface which is a lot less friendly to navigate.
Understandably there are differences with the DOMs in IE4 and NS4, although implementing a cross-browser DHTML interface is certainly do-able. What really annoys me is that MS don't provide a DHTML interface for Mac IE4.5 users when 4.5 generally is better than Windows IE4 and in someways is superior to Windows IE5.
Those who are interested in statistics might like to check out other stats sites, for example the counter sites:
TheCounter <http://www.thecounter.com/stats/> (roughly: IE 70%, NS 22%)
StatMarket <http://www.statmarket.com/> (IE 71%, NS 28%)
and an analysis of statmarket's data is at: <http://members.home.net/h…eck/trinkets/brs_info.htm>
(interesting comment there that Netscape's numbers are still holding pretty firm despite lack of new release.)
There used to be another data source which was more reliable (I believe counters are likely to be a little biased towards IE, because they bias towards home users - probably a few percentage points) because it surveyed users who were selected using appropriate methodology to be a representative sample. However, my link to that no longer works.
BrowserWatch <http://www.browserwatch.com> just their own data, biased towards advanced users (web developers etc.) who are interested in browsers... IE 51%, NS 36%
I hope Mozilla will be able to regain some of the lost share, at least among "techie" users - I think it'll be difficult to get back the more inexperienced masses, unless there's an impressive advertising campaign...
#4 Other stats sites
Friday October 8th, 1999 8:47 AM
These stats certainly show the impact of ie being the 'default' browser on new Windows and, I suppose, MacOS systems too. Home users will use whatever browser pops up first when you connect to the net. Developers who want to create sites for those home users are then forced to do the same. Hmmm...isn't there a court case about this going on right now? ;-)
We keep stats on browsers at the U of Utah Medical Library. Check out <http://medstat.med.utah.edu/stats/agents>
Web developers need to check out all the CSS bugs and to know whether XML is supported in Netscape 4. I know that is one reason why I visit such sites. Could also be more Mac users who do web development are visiting. They tend to favor Netscape.
If you want some really skewed numbers look at the recent claim that less than 3% of net users are on the Mac. The same percentage is claimed for Linux. Now consider that the tracking software is for Windows clients....
I am consistently amazed that people rate netscape 4.x as a useable piece of software. Impossible to use without a mouse, zero to negative support for standards such as HTML and CSS (among others).
I have been using Mozilla since milestone 4 and yes it is promising. However, there is still an absolute disregard for people wo consider a mouse an optional extra.
I find it incredible that people can utter goodness about netscape 4.x. I worked on a project that implemented 128bit SSL in Australia using SGC. Netscape proved to be in 1997 almost unworkable and things havent changed in 1999.
Intersesting all the Microsoft bashing that goes on in this forum about releases and version numbers - how does open source software without previous release go to version 5?
by gerbilpower <email@example.com>
Friday October 8th, 1999 11:00 AM
I do have my share of complaints about Netscape 4.x, especially being a web designer, but I can't see how it is so unusable.
IE5 crashes quite often on my computer, much more so than Netscape, that alone makes Netscape more usable to me.
Although Netscape 4.x has crummy CSS support and with other standards as well, it's workable and I've been able to create fairly complex and degradable layouts using the limit options I have with it that looks just about the same (not exactly but it's more than good enough for the work I do) on IE5 and Mozilla. I just can't wait for a final product from Mozilla so I can take my design further.
Plus on thing I've really enjoyed about Netscape is that a page on a PC will pretty much look the same on the Mac (except the font sizes, which isn't so bad a thing if done correctly). I've had so much trouble with getting some complex things to look the same on IE on both Macs and PCs because the inconsistency between them. In fact my last freelance job was to handle those inconsistencies.
Then again I've had a share of problems with Netscape as well, just to be fair.
Well most people do use a mouse so it isn't that big of a deal but better keyboard support would be really nice since I'm a hot-key person :)
With the project you were in you had trouble with Netscape but with the things I do I'm quite happy with it. But we'll be all so much happier once we have Netscape 5.
BTW, the thing about the version number: eventhough Mozilla hasn't released a finalized product Netscape 5 would be appropriate because Netscape is going to use Mozilla's work to put together the next version of Netscape, which is after version 4.
I have to say I agree with you. When ever I use N4 I find it one of the most buggy browsers I have ever had to use not to mention the most unusable.
However, Mozilla is a different animal. If only for the reason that it is open source... if it sucks then we've only got ourselves to blame!
And what are you using Barry? I am consistently amazed at the levels of anal retention of some. You probably area Mac, or worse an Amiga user... beat it. YaHoo!
"I am consistently amazed that people rate netscape 4.x as a useable piece of software."
Interesting, because I use it constantly. IE5 crashes regularly on my Win98 machine. I have not had any problems with Communicator 4.x that have made it unusable.
If you don't like the key support of Mozilla, it's in your power to do something about it. Ask around in the newsgroups - find out what state it's in, and what they expect to have by release time. If that's not enough for you, let them know what you need to make it usable. If you don't, you'll have missed your chance to possibly get the functionality you need.
>These tutorials are used by people who are interested in the newest web developments and who are therefore more picky about the browser they use than an average user.
NN 4.x doesn't support CSS (the minor implementation should actually be called a bug!)
NN 4.x does not support HTML4.0
NN 4.x has no Document Object. Only static windows (NN 4 does not save any structure)
NN 4.x is sloooow
NN 4.x is unstable (even Moz, in it's current state, is more stable)
Someone said that NN4 looks the same on all platforms. Have you tried it on a Unix box? Even IE for Unix looks more consistent across the 2 platforms they have (mac not counting since IE for mac is entirely different and even worse than the NN4 issue)
The two reasons some developers (mainly Unix users) are still using NN is that the platform does not have any serious alternative or they hate M$ so much thay can't see clearly.
Enough complaining. Mozilla, on the other hand, looks very promising (even if it looked much more promising last winter).
I'm still waiting for the Mozilla team to open up their eyes for a true DHTML enabled browser and not limited by incomplete standards.
>I'm still waiting for the Mozilla team to open up their eyes for a true DHTML enabled browser and not limited by incomplete standards.
It is precisely because Netscape and Microsoft 'improved' the standards that we have the design problems we do today. If they had waited until we had complete standards, OK we might have got the browsers 6 months later but we would not be having to design two set of websites or low-tech sites two years (at a guess) after release of the v4 browsers.
I'd be interested to see the share of OSes, as well as the share of browsers, reported.
These are Web developers, remember. My pick is that a considerable portion of the Netscape reader-share for this site is because many of the users are using Linux, for which IE is unavailable, or a proprietary Unix, for which IE is (so I'm told) practically unusable due to excessive bloat.
#11 IE vs NS, and MS buys Dell
Saturday October 9th, 1999 12:37 AM
With an open mind I made an effort to use IE5 on NT4. My take of late is, "If Microsoft wants to integrate everything into their platform, let them." In other words, let them make IE5 and, Office, and every thing else a part of the OS. I hope they do (and I hope they buy Dell and close the door on open Windows licensing). So I figured, practice what I preach, and use IE. Well....
I like IE5's toolbar customization. But 2 out of 5 websites would require multiple reload attempts to render correctly. I've uninstalled and reinstalled IE5 a few times. I've tried it on other machines. Despite the mutt that is Netscape 4.x, I find the rendering engine more reliable. Sure, IE renders a little faster, but what good does that do me if I have to reload 2 or 3 times every time I go to a site?
And about that whole "integrate everything and buy Dell" idea.... yeah, I know it sounds ludicrous, but I think it would be better for the industry and developers. I'm open to any friendly debate about it.
I'd venture to guess that most of the perl users are using unix, and since there is no usable IE for unix...
Yes, I know perl/NT is fairly popular, but I'd tend to imagine that perl-mentality and unix-mentality are pretty close together. Of course, I'm sure there are also plenty of perl/unix folks who use IE as a browser and vi as an IDE, too.
Personally, although I am pretty virulently anti-M$ in spirit, I've been forced to admit that IE 5 beats out NS 4.x in terms of usability (and just plain nice-lookingness). The moment NS releases a 4.x browser that takes an enter key as "submit" whilst an input box has the focus, I'll go back to it. Alas, IE 5 also starts much faster, too (on win 98) -- as a developer I realize that this is the result of terrible dirty tricks on the M$ side of things (not needing to load in the full browser since it's integrated into the GUI interface), but dang if these kinds of dirty tricks don't shave several seconds off of the startup time of IE. I am eagerly awaiting mozilla X.YbZ; in the meantime I'll keep using IE 5 on my win32 platforms. (I really like the idea of Opera [except for the part where you have to pay for it], but it's done nothing but hang in the last few versions I've tried.)
On the plus side, NS 4.7 seems moderately more stable and speedy than its successors, barring 4.0x, and NS obviously still has enough of a market share to make the majority of pages adhere to the LCD of both browsers.
Tim G <<firstname.lastname@example.org>>
cough, AOL, cough
#17 my take
Sunday October 10th, 1999 3:25 PM
Well, who cares about these usage numbers, once nglayout is part of the aol browser it will all be so damn cool. and nglayout based browsers will totally rule the web, and there will be a zillion KDE and GNOME and MAC and windoze browsers for everyone to use, and the versioning will be horrible but hey, its gonna be standard complaiant... just imaginge the post nglayout browser market, there will be hundreds of variants all with different relases and stuff making having to worry about 10 diff browser versions nothing. its gonna be chaos.... but nglayout will rule the web, no doubt about it.
OS share for Zvon site: NT 44% W98 28% W95 14% Linux 10%
Total: M$ 80 : the rest 20
#22 Is it really the bias of web-developers?
Monday October 11th, 1999 1:42 PM
I don't think so. Although I'm not very active in www-design, I am active in checking out new features introduced by W3C. Although developers may favor NN to IE for $-reasons (M$ still makes lots of money by being the only wide-spread Home-OS) developers wanting to use new features are forced to IE, since that browser implements by far the most of W3C RECs. I think a more likely reason is that most developers also know that introducing new features also means introducing new bugs. Combining this with the strong IE-OS binding this means that each time you come upon a page that has a wrong implementation of the new technology or that makes you encounter a bug in IE your whole system will hang and all that remains is a cold reset. (IE = explorer = your desktop display) This at least for me is a reason to stick with NN for regular browsing and discover the features and bugs in Mozilla at the same time, but almost only for Milestone builds as they are guaranteed to be relatively stable.