Explorer in Decline?

A lot of people blast Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for Windows as being bad and security prone. Naturally, a lot of people bag on Microsoft because they’re an easy target. You hear it all the time, especially working in a Mac shop. But, it seems that some people are finally putting action where their words are, in that Explorer isn’t getting used as much to browse website these days.
One of the sites that I monitor for my company gets about 25,000 unique visitors a month. That’s not gargantuan in the web world, but its pretty sizable and its a pretty good cross section of people, albeit its a sample of people that are mainly in the SF Bay Area, who are in general more wired in and tech savvy than other regions of the US. My statistic software is pretty cool stuff – awstats.sourceforge.net in that it breaks down a tremendous amount of information including the percentage of certain browsers that visit your site. As I’ve been watching over the last few months, I’m noticed that Explorer has actually gone down in usage considerably. Starting in September 2004, in goes like this:
Sep 2004 – 86.7%
Oct 2004 – 85.8%
Nov 2004 – 85%
Dec 2004 – 84.4%
Jan 2005 – 83%
Feb 2005 – 81%
This total is the percentage of all the browsers that visit the site. Obviously Explorer is still far in the lead and if you’re designing a site, you absolutely want to make sure it will work in this browser, but still, it says a lot, since the next highest browser is FireFox – www.getfirefox.com at 7.4%.
Who knows how long this trend will continue and in all fairness to the statistics, they’re a little skewed since Microsoft has discontinued Explorer for Mac development and so most people don’t use that anymore, thus dumping a decent percentage of usage for anyone who is on OS X. But, still the Remond Warrior is going to have to do some pretty heavy duty things to get back some of the ground they’ve lost in the new browser battle.