[plug] browser stats anyone?

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Thu Dec 15 20:01:16 WST 2005

On Thu, 15 Dec 2005, Arie Hol wrote:

> On 15 Dec 2005 at 15:26, Denis Brown wrote:
>> Dear PLUG list members,
>> Really an Open Source question but someone will have the good oil...
>> Open source browser usage figures, versus IE?   I have a "manager" type
>> who has just gone into print stating that 95%of the world uses IE.
>> I have some difficulty with that figure :-)

The figure is only as good as its source. Your type would have cited its 
source, I assume?

>> Anyone?
>> Denis
> I too have difficulty accepting that figure.
> How would you separate geniune IE users from those users who use Firefox
> which has the 'User agent switcher' extension installed so they can get
> their Firefox browser to pretend that it is IE.

And, Opera, which has allowed users to select which browser they want to 
be recognised as using, for yonks now, since about version 6, if my 
memory is correct.

Opera 8.51 (as with previous versions), in the Preferences -> Advanced 
-> Network, in the Browser Identification options, allows a user to 
select Opera, Mozilla, or MSIE.

Thus, while statistics can give a rough idea of the ranking of usage of 
web browsers, the accuracy of the comparative numbers of users, goes 
back to the fundamental principle; "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

How many users of an application (what proportion of users), register 
the application, and how many stick to using the application, or, use 
only the particular application?

I use Mozilla Firefox for some purposes, Mozilla 1.7.8 for other 
purposes (if I want to print web pages, as I have found Firefox to be 
problematic for printing, and, similarly, if I want to send an email 
from a web page or send an email with a return receipt request), Opera 
for other purposes (and Opera has inbuilt email, now), Konqueror for 
some purposes, and Galeon for some purposes.

And, me missus, she uses IE at work as it is a requirement, sometimes 
uses it at home, sometimes uses Mozilla at home, depending on which 
operating system she is using, and, may use IE or an emulation, if she 
is visting a web site that requires IE. She may also use other web 
browsers as she sees fit.

So, apart from  a rough overall ranking of usage of browsers, the 
actual, accurate figures for numbers of users, are somewhat arbitrary 
and unreliable.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992


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