The day heck froze over…

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I’ve finally done it… No one I work with ever thought it would happen and they are actually waiting for the coming of the apocalypse this afternoon.  I, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and over-all long-time Microsoft geek, have finally abandoned Internet Explorer.  This has been a very long time in coming… I’ve fought the tide for years around here– one of the very last to cling to IE in an office full of Firefox and Chrome crazies.

Why now?  Up to this point, my argument has always been that when my clients converted, so would I.  As a web site project manager, I felt I need to see my client’s web sites as they see them, using the most popular Internet browser and version.  For that reason, I’ve kept my eye on w3school’s browser statistics for the point at which Internet Explorer would be overtaken in the market.

The dominance of IE has steadily declined every month since January of 2006 and in late 2008 began to be overtaken by browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. By May 2010, the combined total of all versions of IE held only a 32% market share, versus Firefox’s 46.90% and Chrome’s rapidly accelerating 14.5%.  That tells me that most of my clients (and their customers) are now looking at their web site in something other than IE.

In addition to the stats, IE’s poor performance has finally put me over the edge.  I have a slightly aged Windows XP machine and with every Windows security update (are they coming hourly now??), IE gets more and more painfully slow.  Pages hang, script errors everywhere, terrible response time…  I suppose that some of this is due to developers (from companies OTHER than Beacon!) not testing their new sites in IE as well as they should (shame on you!).

Finally, the add-ons and utilities being written for Firefox and Chrome these days are simply unmatched.  See one of my colleague’s list of great web tools for Firefox.  Our developers used these extensively, and I can’t wait to start putting them to use myself.

So there you go, the day that I never thought I’d see has finally arrived.  Now, with all this said, you can count on me and the others a Beacon to carefully test your new web site for cross-browser compliance in all nine (yikes!) popular browsers/versions, but for my own personal use, it is Firefox for me– that is until Chrome takes over of course.  Now that I’m playing the field, may as well be open to everything!