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Battle of the Browsers

August 11 2011

It's always exciting when a member of the development team sends me an email. The truth is, unless it's something really awesome, they simply don't have the time. Being outrageously busy is excellent quality control, I guess. So imagine my excitement when I received an emailed linklink from the leader of our dev team.

Where did the link lead? To a summary of browser statistics from W3Schools ( Where did that lead? To a lively discussion about the #1 browser we wish that you (yes, YOU) would never, ever – and I mean EVER – use. Internet Explorer.

But first, the stats. Here are the key findings from W3Schools:

Browser stats

Key Trends
The trends are relatively clear and consistent.

  1. Internet Explorer is steadily declining in popularity. In earlier years, this browser had 60, 70 and even 80% market share. They have lost ground, because there are much better options available now. It began 2010 with 36.2% popularity and is currently sitting at 23.2%. It's no wonder – given what we know about "Internet Exploder." But I digress . . . I'll be talking more about that later.
  2. Firefox has remained relatively the same, with a rather meager 4% drop from 46.3% in the beginning of 2010 to 42.2% today. It began with just a few points in market share just a few years ago and has become the largest browser.
  3. Chrome is blowing up! (And I couldn't be happier.) It has climbed from 10.8% popularity in January of 2010 to 27.9% popularity in June of 2011.
  4. Safari and Opera were essentially static. Between 1/2010 and 6/2011 Safari wobbled right around 3.7% and Opera climbed only from 2.2% to 2.4%.


I.E. on the Way Out?
We know that many of you must use Internet Explorer currently because your MLS system does not run on anything but. Want to know who does? Take a peek at Paragon 5 from LPS, Fusion from CoreLogic, FlexMLS from FBS, and a few others, For all other types of work, however, we highly suggest that you use some of the superior browsers .

As Chris (RE Technology developer extraordinaire) explains it, "I.E. doesn't adhere to the majority of today's standards. Nothing is consistent. So, of course, bugs abound." When we get messages from users who say that our site "looks weird" or "doesn't work," our first question is usually whether they're using I.E.

Did I actually hear some of you say that you like I.E.? No hard feelings – after all, I like cats. But may I suggest you try Firefox instead? You'll find that your Internet browsing is faster, smoother, and has fewer glitches than I.E. To download Firefox, click here.

For those operating in MLS systems that DO allow browsers other than Internet Explorer, we'd be happy if you replaced I.E. with Google Chrome. Chrome has a streamlined user interface with functionality that is similar to Firefox. You can even add fun, unique "themes" to further personalize the already-attractive look (FYI – Firefox also has something similar). I also love that I can use the address bar as a Google search bar. To download Chrome, click hereclick here.

chrome browser

Internet Explorer 6 Users – You're at Risk!
If you've tried other browser and still feel attached to I.E., we have one more favor to ask – make sure you are using the most current version of I.E. If you are using Internet Explorer 6 or older, please upgrade today. Microsoft has stated that they are no longer supporting IE 6, so you are opening your computer up to all kinds of problems. To get the latest version, click hereclick here.

What browser do you use?