I am moved to post today by a gripe. We have a lot of products and SaaS vendors that for some reason feel like they don’t need to support browsers other than whatever it is they have in their mind as the one browser they’re going to support. I have Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 8 beta, and Chrome on my PC but still can’t use many of the darn programs I needed to use today. (Of course, you can’t run different IE versions on the same box without resorting to virtualization or similar, so once I went to IE8 beta I knew I was in a world of hurt).
Let me share with you the top 10 browsers we see on our Web site. These numbers are from the last 500k visits so they should be statistically representative.
- IE7 – 34.9%
- Firefox – 31.0%
- IE6 – 25.9%
- Safari (includes Chrome) – 4.1%
- Opera 9 – 2.3%
- IE8 beta – .9%
- Mozilla – .4%
- Charlotte – .1%
- Yeti – .1%
- IE5 – .1%
All you suppliers who think “I don’t need to support Firefox” – think again. And you’re all doing a bad job of supporting IE8. I know it’s new – but if you’ve already been only supporting one browser, be advised that as soon as IE8 goes gold everyone will auto-download it from Microsoft and then you’re SOL. And there’s a lot of IE6 out there still, even if you are trying to do “IE only.”
To name names – Peopleclick. IE7 support only. Really? You really only want 35% of users to use your product? Or you think we’re going to mandate an internal company standard for your one app? Get real.
Sharepoint. No editing in Firefox. When we evaluated intranet collaboration solutions here, we got down to Atlassian Confluence and Sharepoint as finalists, but then the “no Firefox” factor got Sharepoint booted for cause. Confluence itself doesn’t support Safari until its newest version, which was annoying. (Microsoft does promise the new version of Sharepoint out later this year will have adequate Firefox support.)
Graphs don’t work right in Firefox in Panorama, otherwise a pet favorite APM tool.
So guys – I know it’s a pain, but the Windows browser market is split and Macs are undergoing a renaissance. Real companies don’t tell 5 to 10 percent of their customers to screw off (let alone 65%, Peopleclick). It’s a cost of doing business. You’re getting out of a whole bunch of client side code writing by cheating and using Web browsers for it, so be grateful for that rather than ungrateful that you have to test in a couple different browsers. Because corporate decisionmakers like myself will ask, and we will make buying decisions based on it.