CyberNotes: Browser Stats

This article was written on March 19, 2008 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

We realized that we’ve never really done an article diving deep into the history of browser stats even though we have shown you screenshots of browsers from long ago. Thanks to Net Applications we have about a year and a half worth of data to look at, and it is interesting to see the rise and fall of the different browsers.

We had aggregated so much information that even the most severe stataholics would probably start to feel queasy. Below we’ve got an overview of all the browsers wrapped up into one, and then we dive even deeper by breaking the stats down into the popular versions of each browser. To try and ease the nauseous feeling we decided to hide the actual numbers that were used to generate the graphs, but they are still available by clicking on the Details link located at the beginning of each section.

We’ll start by comparing the market share of each major browser, and then we’ll break it down into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape usage.

Note: The timeline for each graph is the exact same, but the market share percentages are scaled differently for each chart to make it easier to read. You can click the Details link to see what percentages make up each graph.

–All Browsers (Details)–

From this graph you can see that Internet Explorer still owns a huge chunk of the browser market share, but over the duration of the graph it has changed quite significantly. In the next month or two it will likely hit a 10% drop since August 2006, and about 5% of that has occurred in the last 6-months.

 browser stats - all

–Internet Explorer (Details)–

It wasn’t until December of 2007 that Internet Explorer 7 actually took over Internet Explorer 6 in usage, which is rather surprising. Maybe it is because so many people are sticking with Windows XP and not making the upgrade to IE7, but it looks like things are finally starting to pickup for IE7:

browser stats - ie 

–Firefox (Details)–

When Firefox 2 came out in October 2006 it didn’t take long for users to make the jump from Firefox 1.5, and ever since then it has been rocking the house.

browser stats - firefox 

–Safari (Details)–

This obviously proves that Safari users enjoy playing with Beta versions of the browser, but don’t really adopt it until the stable version is available. In June 2007 Safari 3.0 Beta was made available by Apple, and in October it shipped with the OS X Leopard operating system. While in Beta it didn’t really affect the usage of other versions, but people made the upgrade rather rapidly once it was released. It’s been a hit ever since.

browser stats - safari 

–Opera (Details)–

The Opera 9.x browser was first introduced in June 2006 shortly before these stats started to be collected. You can see from the chart that Opera 9.x usage has been increasing quite steadily even though the market share is still small. Considering the fact that until September 2005 you had to pay for Opera (or suffer with a built-in ad banner) I would say that they are doing pretty good.

browser stats - opera 

–Netscape (Details)–

Late last year Netscape announced that they would no longer be developing the Netscape 9.0 version of their browser. Well, this might give us some indication as to why that is. The service we got our stats from didn’t even have anything on Netscape 9.0 presumably because the market share was so low. While Netscape 6.0 is currently the champ of all the versions available.

browser stats - netscape 


Hopefully you’ve enjoyed taking a look at all of the charts to see how your favorite browser has progressed over the last year and a half. If you haven’t gotten enough be sure to checkout our history of web browsers where we provide screenshots of browsers over the last 10+ years.

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IE 8 Will Not Follow Standards By Default

This article was written on January 22, 2008 by CyberNet.

Internet Explorer Superman The Internet Explorer team is at it again pointing out that Internet Explorer 8 is looking to closely follow the web standards we’ve all become accustomed to in other major browsers. Earlier they demonstrated that IE 8 currently passes the Acid 2 test, and the IE blog actually admitted their lacking of compliance with the standards in the past:

I’ve been on the IE team for over a decade, and I’ve seen us apply the “Don’t Break the Web” rule in six different major versions of IE in different ways. In IE 6, we used the DOCTYPE switch to enable different “modes” of behavior to protect compatibility. When we released IE 6 in 2001, very few pages on the web were in “standards mode” (my team ran a report on the top 200 web sites at the time that reported less than 1%) – few people knew what a DOCTYPE was, and few tools generated them.

By default Internet Explorer 8 will render sites the same way that IE 7 does, but there will also be a “super standard” rendering capability that developers can take advantage of. To make any particular website render with the standards-compliant engine developers will have to specify this META tag in the HEAD section of the site:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8" />

I think this is a good way for Microsoft to handle the issue of standards while maintaining maximum site compatibility, but I think this will give little motivation for non-standards sites to update their code. Is this the right route for Microsoft to go?

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IE8 Beta 2 Download – Colored Tabs, an “Awesome Bar”, and More

This article was written on August 28, 2008 by CyberNet.

ie8 awesome bar.png

When Mozilla launched Firefox 3 there were some people who weren’t fond of the changes they made to the address bar. With it they decided to intermingle results from the user’s history, bookmarks, and typed addresses to provide a long list of sites they might be trying to find. While not everyone liked the feature there were quite a few who did, and among those people the name “Awesome Bar” caught on.

Well, the download for Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 was just posted, and it is sporting an “Awesome Bar” that is even more powerful than Firefox’s. The screenshot above shows how it grabs results from your history, favorites, and also from any feeds you’ve subscribed to within IE. All of the different types of results are divided up so that the user can quickly determine what’s what, which was often a complaint with how Mozilla decided to implement their solution. If you see a result that you want to delete just hover over it, and a red “X” should appear at the end.

One of my new favorite things would also have to be the colorized tabs. When you Control+Click on a link from a site the new tab will not only open next to the current one, but it will also inherit the same color. That way you can visually associate tabs with each other.

ie8 tabs.png

And lastly when you open a new tab Internet Explorer 8 will ask whether you want to do things like open a tab you accidentally closed, use an accelerator, or start browsing privately:

ie8 new tab.png

I have to give Microsoft a lot of credit for what they’ve done here. I was thinking that the only new feature we were going to see in IE8 Beta 2 was the InPrivate Browsing that we previously covered. They definitely shocked me with the other features they added, and they did a really great job with them. I can’t wait to see what the final release is like.

Get Internet Explorer 8 for Windows
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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CyberNotes: Bookmarklets that make Subscribing to Feeds Easier

This article was written on April 04, 2007 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

I subscribe to feeds all the time, but many of the browsers are different in the way they handle feeds. Firefox has a pretty nice interface for choosing an external application as the default subscription handler while Internet Explorer (IE) and Opera are both a little more tricky. IE and Opera are setup to handle feeds from within the browser itself so they don’t offer many options for subscribing to feeds using external applications.

When you install an external application to handle your feeds on your computer, such as FeedDemon or RSS Bandit, it registers the “feed://” protocol with the operating system much the same way that your browser registers the “http://” protocol. This means that anytime a URL begins with feed:// it will actually try to launch your external feed program.

This bookmarklet doesn’t work for Firefox (at least I don’t think it does), but that doesn’t really matter because in the options you can choose a default program to handle the feeds. So if your using Internet Explorer or Opera the first thing you need to do is drag this bookmarklet into your bookmarks:

Now anytime you click on the bookmarklet it will take you directly to your external RSS feed application so that you can add the feed in there, instead of in the browser. The first time you will probably see some sort of warning like this one giving you a heads up that the browser is trying to pass a URL onto your default feed program, but you can just check the box to permanently allow this action:

Approve Feed

Don’t worry, if a site has more than one feed available the bookmarklet is designed to ask you which one you want to use before sending it to your feed program:

Select Feed

All you have to do is enter in the corresponding number of the feed you want to subscribe to and press OK.

Then I thought to myself that there had to be a better way to subscribe to the feeds…and I remembered Chris R. telling me about AddThis. It is a service that I could setup much the same way I setup the bookmarklet above, but for some people it is a little nicer. It will display a website that lists all of the feed URL’s associated with a specific site instead of having to use a popup window to select which one you want. With the way I had the bookmarklet setup it was easy to modify it to work with AddThis.

Internet Explorer and Firefox users just drag this link into your bookmarks:


Opera users can click on this link if they want to create an orange RSS button to add to any toolbar:


I tested it in Firefox, IE, and Opera and it works in all of them from what I can tell. If you create an account with you can set it up so that you’re never asked for your feed subscriber preference again, although it can be changed later on should you decide to switch what program/service you’re using.

One quick thing that I wanted to mention is that in Firefox if you use the “Google Reader” option for subscribing to feeds you’ll be presented with an option to add the feed to your Google Personalized Homepage or to Google Reader. Most of you probably use one or the other and you can configure Firefox to automatically bypass that screen and go to your favorite service by following these instructions that Chad posted in our forum.

So that’s it…the first of the bookmarklets that I actually made myself and they came because I had received a few questions about changing how Opera handles feeds by default. If you have any ideas on how I can make it better or another service you would like it to work with just let me know, and I’ll do my best to fulfill your requests! :)

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CyberNotes: Enhancing IE7′s Feed Reader

This article was written on June 20, 2007 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

One thing that Microsoft did a good job of in Internet Explorer 7 was making it easy for users to read feeds. They provided a feed reader that was so simple, yet it does exactly what most casual users want, and that is to keep up on the latest news from around the Web.

Despite doing many things right, there are some things that it doesn’t do, but for those things, there are work-arounds which you might find useful. This includes adding a notifier so that you know when there are new items, and synchronizing with an online service so that your feeds are up-to-date both at work and at home. Here are some tips that you might find helpful if you use the feed reader in Internet Explorer…

IE7 Feeds

–Synchronize with NewsGator Online (Homepage)–

This is one of my favorite add-ons for Internet Explorer because it focuses on the fact that not everyone sits in front of the same computer all day. Many of us go from being at home, to work, and then back home again which is where the NewsGator Desktop Sync comes in handy.

This small, lightweight program installs in a matter of seconds on your computer. Once setup, it will synchronize with an online NewsGator account to keep track of which feeds/posts that you have read. You can choose to have IE override all feed settings, have NewsGator’s online service override all settings, or have the application merge the feeds in the browser and what’s available online.

The System Tray icon gives you easy access to synchronization, and in just a few clicks you can sync up before you go to work or come home. Or, if that seems like too much of a hassle you can actually customize the duration between syncs so that you never even have to think about it.

NewsGator Desktop Sync NewsGator Desktop Sync

–Feed Folder (Homepage)–

This add-on doesn’t do that much, but it does make your feeds a little more accessible outside of just Internet Explorer. By using the Feed Folder add-on all of your feeds will be placed in your Favorites bookmarks folder in addition to the normal feed location within Internet Explorer 7. This means that your feeds will quickly be accessible from Windows Explorer as well as the Start Menu (if configured to show Favorites in the Start Menu properties).

Feed Folder

–MS Feed Icon (Homepage)–

This is simply a notification system and System Tray icon for the feed reader in IE7. Basically, it adds the most critical thing that Microsoft never put into their browser, but this one does a terrific job of going above and beyond the call of duty. Check out everything it can do:

  • Icon in the system tray indicating status of you feed subscriptions
  • Displays notifications when a feed contains new posts, and you can customize which feeds receive the notification.
  • Can automatically marks a feed as read
  • Force an update on all feeds
  • Star a notification for later reading (essentially pinning it so that the notification doesn’t close)
  • Mark as read without viewing the feed
  • Unsubscribe from a feed within the notification window
  • Search new posts for specific Tags so you can select which posts are interesting to you. Then any matching posts can be starred to ensure that the notification window does not close until you manually close it.
  • Feed statistics
  • Presentation mode aware (Windows Vista only)
  • Customizable background color

MS Feed Icon MS Feed Icon

–Feeds Plus (Homepage)–

Feeds Plus makes it possible to read all of your feeds on the same page. This is a really nice feature as long as you don’t have a large number of feeds, but you can always organize your feeds into folders. That way you can just read all of the items on a folder by folder basis.

It also has a built-in notifier that pops up near the System Tray when a feed has new posts, but it isn’t nearly as extensive as what the MS Feed Icon has to offer. Luckily you can disable this notifier so that it doesn’t conflict with MS Feed Icon.

Feeds Plus Feeds Plus


As you can see, there are several tools available that all enhance IE7’s Feed Reader. None of them really make it a full-fledged application like FeedDemon or RSS Bandit, but they help make it a lot more useful.

If you have any other tools that you use with Internet Explorer 7’s feed reader be sure to let us know. We’ve also written two other posts, here and here, on other great add-ons for Internet Explorer 7.

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Myriad’s Remarkz HTML 5 web annotation app hands-on

It wasn’t that long ago that Myriad gave us an exclusive sneak peek at its platform agnostic Android app emulator, Alien Dalvik 2.0. While we were there, the company gave us a glimpse of another project, called Remarkz, that piqued our interest. Remarkz is a slick little HTML 5 application that lets users annotate web pages with text and drawings and share the marked up pages via email, Facebook and Twitter. As opposed to using screen grab programs like Skitch or Jing, Remarkz keeps the web page links live and only requires adding a bookmark to get started. Additionally, a timeline feature lets you see when new notes are made on a page and who made them — giving it greater potential for use as a collaboration tool. True to Myriad form, it works on any platform (tablets, PCs and Macs) using any browser that supports HTML 5. It’s still in beta for now, but the app works pretty well despite a small bug here or there. Plus, given its egalitarian nature, Myriad hinted that we may see it on more screens (think big) in January at CES, which would up its cool quotient considerably. Interested? Check out a video walkthrough of the app after the break, and hit the source to start using it yourself.

Continue reading Myriad’s Remarkz HTML 5 web annotation app hands-on

Myriad’s Remarkz HTML 5 web annotation app hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 22:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CyberNotes: Switch Between Multiple Site Logins

This article was written on January 23, 2008 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

There was a lot of excitement when we wrote about the Greasemonkey script that could be used to switch between multiple Gmail accounts. At that time Thilak commented about a Firefox extension that basically accomplished the same task. With it you create user profiles that you can switch between, and it uses a different set of cookies for each of the profiles.

Since most sites store session information in cookies this is a good method for switching between multiple accounts, whether it be for email, shopping, or just about anything. That’s when it hit me that you can manipulate cookies using JavaScript as well, and I figured there had to be a way to create a bookmarklet to do almost the same thing as the extension.

Before we dive into the bookmarklet lets take a look at the Firefox extension more in depth:

–Firefox Extension–

CookieSwap The extension is called CookieSwap, and once installed you can create multiple profiles that can be used to manage different identities from around the web. They are all controlled from the Status Bar where you can select which identity you want to use.

This is great for switching between multiple email accounts without needing to login to each one, as well as making it easier for several different people to all use the same browser. For example, each person in your family could have their own profile, and then each of them wouldn’t have to constantly bother with logging in and out of websites.

The good news is that all of your information is stored in a cookie, which ensures that no one can see your password in plaintext. Well, that’s at least the case for sites that are designed properly.

One downside that I’ve found to using this is that there’s no way to restrict the cookie swapping to a particular site. The first time you create a new profile you’ll start with a blank slate, and you’ll need to go login to all the sites you want enabled for that particular profile. So it may not be the optimum solution if all you want to do is switch between several different accounts on one particular site.


Huh?: A bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program that can be stored as a URL within a bookmark in most popular web browsers, or within hyperlinks on a web page.

We figured there had to be a way to create a bookmarklet to swap between cookies as well, but on a per site basis. As always we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel if we didn’t have to, so we searched around to see what we could find. Jesse Ruderman came to the rescue with a bookmarklet that he wrote to transfer cookies from one browser to another. We took that bookmarklet, modified it a bit, and created something that we think you’ll enjoy.

Here’s how it works. First you’ll need to drag this link into your bookmarks, or right-click on it and select the bookmark option:

Backup Cookies

Now head on over to the site you want to “backup” the cookies for. Click on the bookmarklet you just created, and you should see something like this:

Bookmarklet Swap Cookies

Bookmarking that will store your existing cookies for that site in the form of a bookmarklet. To restore the particular cookies for the site just run that bookmarklet.

Important: You must be on the site corresponding to the bookmarklet before running it. Otherwise your the cookies will not be updated. For example, if you backed up your Yahoo! cookies make sure you are on the Yahoo! website before running the bookmarklet.

In the example pictured above I was logged into Yahoo!, I ran the “Backup Cookies” bookmarklet to save my existing cookies. I was then able to logout of Yahoo! and run the new bookmarklet to restore all of my login credentials. It’s really that simple.

It’s pretty cool how something as simple as cookies can be used to restore your login status, but it’s something you also want to be careful with. Doing this would also mean that if the information ended up in the wrong hands that it could do some severe damage. For security reasons I recommend that you be especially cautious if you synchronize your bookmarks with a third-party online service.

Hat tip to Thilak for pointing out the Firefox Extension!

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How to Repair Your Internet Connection

This article was written on February 11, 2011 by CyberNet.

arrow Windows Windows only arrow
internet repair.pngThere are an infinite number of reasons as to why someone’s Internet connection could stop working, but even with that in mind there are still a number of things we techies are “trained” to check first before banging our heads against the wall. I’m talking about things like releasing/renewing the IP address, flushing the DNS, and checking the Windows Firewall settings.

Thanks to a program called Complete Internet Repair all of those “tier 1″ troubleshooting efforts can be taken care of automatically for you. This free portable app tries to repair all of the most troublesome Internet-related issues including Windows Update problems and the mind-numbing lack of network connectivity.

Here’s a list of situations that the developers have said their program fares well in:

  • Internet or network problem after removing adware, spyware, virus, worm, Trojan horse, etc.
  • Loss network connection after installing/uninstalling adware, spyware, antispam, vpn, firewall or other networking programs.
  • Unable to access any webpage or can only access some webpages.
  • Pop-up error window with network related problem description.
  • No network connectivity due to registry errors.
  • DNS lookup problem.
  • Fail to renew the network adapter’s IP address or other DHCP errors.
  • Network connectivity issue with limited or no connections message.
  • Windows update does not work
  • You are having problems connecting to secured websites (ex. Banking).
  • Internet Explorer stopped working or crashes all the time.
  • Other networking problems.

This obviously won’t fix every possible problem you’re likely to encounter, but it’s a great first step… especially if you’re trying to walk someone through how to do this stuff over the phone.

Note: I noticed that clicking the arrow along the right side of each entry immediately executes the particular step, so don’t try and click the arrows when just experimenting. :)

Complete Internet Repair Homepage (Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7; Freeware)

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Firefox & Opera Users are the Most Apt to Update

This article was written on July 03, 2008 by CyberNet.

firefox opera glasses.pngWeb browsers are probably among the most updated applications because of how important they are in our daily lives, and also because of how vulnerable they can make us to outside attacks. For example, Firefox 2 has had about 15 different versions since its release in October 2006, and all but three addressed security issues. I calculated out the average duration between new releases, and it works out to one every 39 days, or almost one every month.

I’m happy that these browsers are frequently getting updates because that means they are keeping up with any vulnerabilities and bugs that might arise. The bad news is that over 637 million users out there are surfing the net with an outdated browser. To break it down even further here are the percentage of users using the most current version on a per-browser basis:

  • Internet Explorer 7: 52.5% are up-to-date
  • Safari 3: 70.2% are up-to-date
  • Opera 9: 90.1% are up-to-date
  • Firefox 2: 92.2% are up-to-date

Just barely half of all Internet Explorer 7 users are running the latest release, which means many of them could be vulnerable to outside attacks. Firefox and Opera, on the other hand, are almost always updated to the latest release.

Naturally you would think that this is because Firefox and Opera users are more likely to follow when the companies release new versions of their browsers, but is that really the case? Half of the problem is that Internet Explorer gets updated through Windows Update, and so users aren’t notified of patches from within the browser like they are with Opera and Firefox. For that reason you’d be hard pressed to find someone who could tell you exactly what version of Internet Explorer they’re running, but a good chunk of Opera and Firefox users probably know the version number off the top of their heads.

You can read more about how the stats were collected, but overall I would say that all of this information is on-par to what I would expect. This makes me wonder how many people out there have expired antivirus subscriptions as well?

Understand the Web Browser Threat [via CNet]

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IE8 InPrivate Browsing to Include Ad-Blocking Capabilities?

This article was written on August 26, 2008 by CyberNet.

ie8 inprivate.pngMicrosoft will be addressing a lot of privacy issues in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, which will be released to the public soon. The new version of the browser will include a private browsing mode called InPrivate, and when it’s enabled cookies aren’t stored, history isn’t recorded, and a lot of your other data is never saved. For people who work on public computers this kind of feature can offer a little piece of mind.

One other handy feature that will be included is the ability to clear out all of your history, passwords, cookies, and more for all websites except those located in your favorites. That means clearing out all of your cookies won’t cause you to have to login again to the sites that reside in your bookmarks.

The last thing that I wanted to point out is a feature they’re calling InPrivate Subscriptions. Here’s how the IE8 team describes this feature:

Under the covers, InPrivate Subscriptions are simply RSS feeds of Regular Expressions that specify sub-downloads to block or allow. Anyone can publish an InPrivate Subscription on their website, just as they can offer an Accelerator or Web Slice on their website.

Essentially with InPrivate Subscriptions users will be able to subscribe to lists of sites that should be blocked. Anyone can create their own list, and then publish it on their own site to share with the world. Content including images, scripts, and CSS files can all be blocked using InPrivate Subscriptions. While it may not be the intended use I’m sure there will be plenty of these subscriptions created to block advertisements from around the web.

ie 8 inprivate subscriptions.png

So what do you think? Is Internet Explorer 8 shaping up to be a great browser? Here’s a rather lengthy interview (38 minutes) with some of the managers from the Internet Explorer team outlining how some of the new features will work.

[via IE8 Blog] Thanks Claus!

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