Which web browser do you use?

Whoever said web browser development is dead? Geez Louise, could there be any less, or is that more, browser news this month? Microsoft is trying to kill Internet Explorer 6 (again). Internet Explorer 9 releases on March 14, while Microsoft is preparing to debut early IE 10 at MIX11 in April. Yesterday, Google popped out Chrome 10, while today Apple released Safari 5.04. Opera opened an app store yesterday. Not to be left out, Mozilla posted Firefox 4 Release Candidate 1. Did I miss anything?

Given all this browser buzz, it's good time to do an informal survey of Betanews readers. Yes, I could check the site logs (and may still) but I want to know specifically which browsers (since many people use more than one) and why. If IE 7, why not IE 9 RC? Perhaps you spend most of the day using an iPad and mobile Safari. Or maybe your work PC has (cough, cough) IE 6, but you use IE 8 and Chrome at home. I'd like to know, and I'm betting there are other Betanews readers who are interested, too. So please answer the question -- "Which web browser do you use?" -- in comments, or email joewilcox at gmail dot com.

To give a sense who else uses what, in the next paragraph is some browser data collected by NetApplications for February. I must be absolutely clear: NetApps data represent usage share, but often is reported to be market share. The data only represents what people use not how much of the market uses which browser. NetApps feeds this misperception by calling its data "market share." Market share is typically a measure of something finite, like X widgets shipped over three months. NetApps data is analogous to broadly measuring by cable, IPTV or satellite attachment which brands of TVs Americans use. If such a thing were possible to measure, it would miss something: Homes that have multiple TVs from different vendors. Similarly, many people use more than one web browser.

With that qualification, February 2011 usage share:

  • Internet Explorer: 56.77 percent
  • Firefox: 21.74 percent
  • Chrome: 10.93 percent
  • Safari: 6.36 percent
  • Opera 2.15 percent

Usage share by browser version:

  • Internet Explorer 8: 34.95 percent
  • Firefox 3.6: 17.82 percent
  • Internet Explorer 6: 11.33 percent
  • Internet Explorer 7: 8.05 percent
  • Chrome 9: 7.56 percent

No wonder Microsoft is trying so hard to kill of IE 6 (again), given it's the third most popularly used browser as measured by version.

So, please, answer the "which browser" question, also giving reasons why this one or that one -- and perhaps why not the other one(s). Which browser makes you feel safest to use on the Internet? Which do you feel are least secure? Have you recently switched allegiances, say Internet Explorer to Firefox, or visa versa? There is a new browser war going on, and you're the battlefield. Once again, please respond in comments, or email joewilcox at gmail dot com.

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