A cross-section of the internet

You’ve all heard of it. Some of you even know what it looks like. But who’s actually used the Opera browser?

I’ve tried, a couple of times. My opinion’s always been “holy crap it’s fast”, “holy crap it’s configurable”, “can’t be bothered switching to it because Firefox has Adblock Plus and Net Usage and I couldn’t find equivalent plugins that were as simple and obvious to use”.

Here’s an interesting article – “8 Browser Innovations Started by Opera“. Apparently we’ve had tabbed browsing since the year 2000, but nobody noticed. I suppose it would’ve been irrelevant until the majority of people had dialup and could stand to load more than one page at once.

That article makes an interesting point about market share. Obviously Internet Explorer is largely popular in graphs because it’s the first program tons of new computer users actually see (and trying to conceptually separate Internet Explorer from “my Bigpond Explorer”, “my email”, and “Windows” can be hilariously difficult), but I’ve played with IE8 on the few occasions I’ve actually sat down to use it, and it’s actually not terrible.

I’d like to share some statistics about my own blog here, courtesy of Google Analytics. Here’s a glimpse of what information I collect about you:

Browsers used by visitors to tim.id.au/blog between mid-April and mid-June, 2009.

Here’s the breakdown of web browsers used by every visitor to a page on tim.id.au/blog in the last 90-odd days. You’d expect a huge amount of IE users (drivers are usually the first thing to go on a freshly installed PC), but Firefox reigns supreme. Chrome is more popular than Opera, and there’s some Safari in there too.

The Opera Mini hits are concievably all my own fault – I use that on my phone, having never bothered with Sony Ericsson’s default K850i browser. I’d never heard of Camino before looking at this myself (hello, Mac users! What are you doing here? *waves*). The rest are weird little devices, probably random hits from bored friends of mine. Who I could probably identify from those devices. You guys are bored.

Operating systems used by visitors to tim.id.au/blog between mid-April and mid-June, 2009.

Operating systems. Windows takes a good 7/8ths of the cake, while Linux makes up most of the rest (Hi to anybody who set up their own Ubuntu DHCP servers or whatever from my walkthrough!). A small number of iPhone OS hits (Hi Nathan and Bohdan!), SunOS and UNIX are probably from universities, and surely whoever’s responsible for the OS/2 hit is taking the piss.

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