Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 just under a month ago now and I was interested to see what kind of market share it had achieved. Admittedly my blog doesn’t have the highest footfall but the 1.5% of visits that come from IE8 appears to be consistent with more popular sites. This is roughly half the impact that Google’s Chrome had when it was first released.
Of course, different sites attract different demographics. The more technical minded of users are, frankly, unlikely to use any version of IE so these figures will be lower for a site like slashdot than HoTMaiL for instance. Developing for your target audience is of huge importance. It’s no secret that getting things to work for IE6 has become the daily source of frustration of many web developers. Many governmental departments and large companies with monolithic IT support still haven’t upgraded from IE6 citing spurious reasons like insufficient testing. I can easily see IE8 taking away browser share away from IE7 in the coming months and use of IE6 keeping constant for a good while yet.
The public at large is better educated and now many know there are alternatives to the blue e that sits on their desktop. As long as they have a choice in the matter and aren’t locked down to an aged and obsolete browser that is.