It’s about time! According to Arstechnica, http://arst.ch/rg6 which cites http://www.netmarketshare.com, Internet Explorer has finally dropped below 50% browser market share. As a web designer, this comes as a great relief.
Microsoft’s slow adoption (read: blatant ignorance) to web standards, has been a curse to web designers for years. Instead of focusing on design and usability, the design process becomes more about fixing all the little bugs that IE throws as it tries to load and display W3C compliant web pages which should render perfectly.
For the same reason that Microsoft swept Netscape Navigator out of the browser wars, (before they even started) Microsoft installing Internet Explorer as the default browser on all Windows machines skyrocketed their market share because for the average user, the E icon was the internet.
The increasing publicity of alternative browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari; and Google’s educational website, http://www.whatbrowser.com are trying to increase the knowledge of the average user so they can make an informed decision and not just blindly accept IE.
An other aspect cited in the article is the increasing usage of mobile devices, a market in which Microsoft has yet to make any significant contribution.
I hope that Microsoft does step up it’s game, competition is key to any healthy marketplace and when corporations compete, it’s the users who benefit, but the way thing’s are going doesn’t look hopeful.