I remember the days (late 1990’s) when Netscape navigator ruled the web browser market, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was a joke. In a few short years, however, Microsoft dominated the market, wiping out Netscape, and taking over 90% of the browser share.
This domination continued even as new upstarts, like Opera, Safari (Mac) and Firefox entered the scene. However, users increasingly frustrated with Explorer, started testing out the alternatives. By 2007, when Google Chrome came on the scene, MS was steadily losing market share.
I noticed a shift over the years in development work as well. It used to be that anything I did “had to work / look right” on Internet Explorer. If it didn’t work so well on Firefox, or Safari, the client didn’t usually care. But over time, I noticed clients becoming more concerned about other browsers. In fact, now I have some clients who don’t care about IE, but focus on FF, Chrome, and Safari. Today I saw an article about this company (not a client) saved precious startup money by not supporting – IE – in any version.
It’s interesting to see how the ground shifts over time – hopefully Microsoft will get in line with upcoming versions of IE – if not, they face going the way of Netscape, at least in the browser market.