Browser wars

Every so often I update my chart of the technologies people use to view my blog. The last time was back in October last year, and the chart as it looks now is very interesting. The three major browsers (Internet Explorer, Fire Fox and Chrome) are now converging at around 30% share each. Other browsers such as Opera and Safari don’t get much of a look in. However, it does look like I’ll shortly have to start noting down one or two mobile browsers distinctly. Currently mobile browsers are all lumped into the “Other” category.

Meanwhile, on the operating system front Windows XP continues to slowly ebb away. However, the fact that 30% of the visits to my blog are from a Windows XP machine is still painful to see. Vista users are also dying away and are down to about 6% now. At its current rate of decline there will be more Mac users visiting my blog by the turn of the year.

Google Analytics also has a facility to record page load times, however it is currently only reporting from Internet Explorer and Chrome at the moment. That coupled with only 3 months of data so far doesn’t make for very interesting trend watching. However, in a future update I’m sure I’ll add page load times.

Technology Trends – October 2010 update

Around this time last year I wrote a blog post showing technology trends for browsers and operating systems as reported by Google Analytics for my blog and some mainstream websites.

Since then the world has moved on and the trends continue to evolve. New technology arrives, old technology slowly withers.

For the moment, it is interesting (to me, at least) to see what the trends are for my own blog.

Operating System

Windows XP is fading, not as fast as I’d hope, but still it is now below 50% of visits. On the other hand Windows 7 is rising fast and sitting at 38% in the space of just over a year. The biggest hit is for people moving away from Windows Vista, that’s where most of the market share is being lost from.

Other operating systems, such as MacOS and Linux don’t feature very heavily, bobbing around the 2% to 5% without much real movement. I’m not completely surprised by that, my blog is mostly aimed at .NET Development which is a Microsoft developer technology.



While Operating System technology is being dominated by Microsoft they are losing share on the Browser front. While IE is still the more prevalent browser its share is being eroded, not by FireFox as I would have thought, but by Google’s offering, Chrome.

FireFox has stayed fairly steady over the last three years bobbing around the 30% to 40% mark. IE has gone from just shy of 70% to just over 40%. Meanwhile Chrome has risen from nothing to just under 20%.

Other browsers, such as Opera and Safari, don’t really make that much of an impact.


Technology trends through Google Analytics

I’ve been looking at various Google Analytics stats to see some recent technology trends. This started out as me being simply curious about what technologies people were using to access my blog. But then I got to thinking that it would be interesting to see how the statistics on my (Microsoft/Technology focused) blog fair with regard to other websites.

The most interesting thing I found is that my blog does not match other other, more mainstream, sites I looked at. I seem to have some early adopters that cause jumps in the trend. Other sites tend to have more stable trends.

For example, here’s the graph for my blog showing operating system usage:


In mid-2008 there is a jump of Windows Vista users. I tried to figure out why the number of Windows Vista users should jump like this and the only thing that I can actually think of is that this is about the time of “The Mojave Experiment”. Alternatively, perhaps it is something I did on my blog bringing more traffic to me from people running Windows Vista?

In July 2008 20% of visitors were using Windows Vista, the following month that number had jumped to 32%. Incidentally on August 3rd I wrote a blog post that has consistently be in my top-5 blog posts each month ever since. That post was about installing SQL Server 2005 on Vista. In fact, that single post currently represents 14% of the monthly traffic to my blog.

When looking at the browser usage in use the trend doesn’t have such a wild jump in it. Internet explorer is steadily being replaced by FireFox with most other browsers sitting down below 10%. There is, however, a rise in Chrome usage and I expect it to be past the 10% mark by the end of the year.


What is interesting is the jump when Chrome first came on the market, it jumped in at 3.5% and has been steadily rising since. It is up to 8.1% now so that it is now in 3rd place.

Operating Systems

Let’s compare that to some more mainstream sites. I’m just going to put the graphs up one after the other then comment on them.

First the operating system:




There are some very interesting variations between these graphs and my blog. None of these have a big jump in any particular operating system, so that suggests that Project Mojave, an earlier speculation to account for a jump in Vista users, didn’t have a big effect.

What is most interesting is that people looking at Lingerie websites have more Apple Macs (purple line) that people looking at other sites. Mac usage for the lingerie site runs from 10% to 15% over the course of the two years.

Windows XP usage is coming down, more markedly for the Lingerie site. I’d speculate that since businesses seem to be the ones holding on to Windows XP the longest (still installing it on newly purchased equipment, unlike the home market which will most likely stick to what is on the box already) those viewing the Lingerie website are more likely to do so from home. Certainly, if I was so inclined to visit, I’d do that at home.

On the early adopter front, most mainstream sites have not seen much of an increase in Windows 7 (turquoise line) usage yet. It isn’t released to the general public until 22nd of October. Early adopters will mostly be running the beta and release candidate. Those with MSDN Subscription will be able to run the full release already. It would seem that many developers (or at least those inclined to visit a software development oriented blog) are already adopting Windows 7 as almost 7% of visitors used that operating system. The mainstream sites are sitting around 0.5% currently.





It looks like developers buck the trend again. 30%-40% use FireFox to access my blog whereas more mainstream sites get 10%-20% of visitors using FireFox. Also, the lingerie site is also slightly bucking the trend by having around 25% of visitors using FireFox.

Universally, IE is losing market share. It just seems to be quicker for software developers to be abandoning it, even on this Microsoft oriented software development blog.

It would seem that FireFox is the browser in line to take the crown, at least in software development circles as it does seem to have a fair way to go elsewhere. However, Chrome has got off to a good start, gaining initial popularity even on more mainstream sites. FireFox may have some real competition. Safari is not doing so badly either, but that trend does seem to follow the Mac OS trend, so perhaps that’s just getting the kudos through being installed as the default browser on Macs.

Google Analytics not reporting Windows 7 users

It seems that Google Analytics is not reporting Windows 7 users properly. According to the stats for my blog I’m getting an increasing number of people browsing my blog from Windows NT.

Google Analytics for Windows NT Users on my Blog

I would guess that the operating system is self identifying as Windows NT 7.0 which is why Google Analytics is putting the visits in the NT bucket, but Windows hasn’t been called NT (at least in a marketing sense) since Windows NT 4.0. After that it became Windows 2000* (which Google Analytics is identifying), then XP, Vista and now Windows 7.

* Admittedly with the tag line “Built on NT Technology”

Oddball statistics about my blog

As I’ve mentioned before I’m using Google Analytics to see what people are
interested in on my blog and website. Some of the statistics are beginning to
settle down now. So, here are some interesting stats (well, they are interesting
to me)

Most read blog entry was about installing Visual Studio 2005 on Vista

Top three browsers are IE (69%), Firefox (28%) and Opera (2%)

97% of visitors use Windows, 2% use an Apple Macintosh.

95% of visitors have their screen resolution set at 1024×768 or higher. The
most common setting is 1280×1024 which accounts for 29% of visitors.

1% of visitors came from an IP address registered to Microsoft Corp.

Curious about stats on my blog and website

Recently I added Google Analytics to my website and blog. It has been quite interesting to see what statistics it gave back.

For my blog a large number of people never leave the home page with 17% of all hits there. I do have quite a few recent posts up there and I guess there isn’t any reason for them to go any further than that.

The next most popular page is a post on “Why is it so hard to hire good software developers?” with 11% of the share. It is a relatively new topic so I’m sure that over time that will drop. However, it isn’t the newest topic around, so perhaps it is something people want to find out about. Perhaps others who are searching for software developers like to hear that there are people in the same boat. For people looking for a job, perhaps there are looking to see what employers are looking for.

What is more interesting is seeing the pages that have been up for a while. With 9% of all page views in the last week is a post on “Visual Studio 2005 on Vista” detailing my troubles trying to get VS2005 installed on Vista. This is obviously a problem that a lot of people are running in to.

With 5% of all page views in the last week is a post about a “SQL Exception because of a timeout”. So it is obvious that people are looking for information on that topic too.

However, what surprised me the most was that the single biggest search term that brought people to my blog was nothing to do with technology. The most searched term to bring people to my blog included the word “chocolate” e.g. “Chocolate Cake” or “Chocolate Crunch”. And it brought them to a page with a recipe for “Chocolate Crunch Cake

On to my website and I was interested to see that the most viewed page was a beginners article on “Passing values between forms in .NET” with a staggering 43% of page views.

The second most viewed page on my website was the article to go with the session I gave at DDD5 on “An Introduction to Mock Objects” with a mere 6% of page views.

So, what about SQL Injection Attacks (the article I consider to be the most important). It has just 4% of page views. Well, at least some people are concerned about database security. I just wish it were more people considering the number of times I see on forums some really poorly written code to get something out of a database.

All in all, I think this information has given me some ideas on what people are interested in and what they want to read. I hope I can therefore provide more information on related subjects that are of use to people.