Two excellent posts about Web Browsers

The first from Mozilla celebrates 5 years of Firefox and explains what’s been going on this last year and where browser technology will be going next “super fast JavaScript, modern CSS, HTML5, support for the various web-apps standards, downloadable font support, offline application support, raw graphics through canvas and WebGL, native video, advanced XHR capabilities mixed with new security tools and network capabilities”.

The second from Glyn Moody contains a potted history of the development of browser technology. His Computer World column is always worth reading.

Google Wave

Google started rolling out developer invites to Google Wave and reviews and applications are starting to appear.

A larger set of invites will appear later in the year according to various articles.

Slashdot reported that “Ray Ozzie says that Google Wave is ‘anti-Web,’ which seems rather odd, as at least Google have said that it will use standard internet protocols and be open source. Rather like the internet and the web and not at all like Silverlight or the lacklustre IE8.

Youtube dropping support for IE6

One way to get users off IE6 is to literally stop access to their favorite web sites unless they upgrade – Youtube has started to run a banner that indicates that time is running out for those stuck on IE6. Interestingly, in a sample study from digg, many of the sample IE 6 users surveyed indicated that they would upgrade, but they couldn’t due to corporate policies or lack of upgrade rights.

Techcrunch article

Its worth reading the history of IE6 at wikipedia, which suggests that 12% of people are still using a browser brought out in 2001.

Firefox vs IE

Neowin is reporting that Firefox has jumped a couple of points (with IE dropping a few).

Internet Explorer fell from 62.09% to 59.49%, while Firefox rose from 28.75% to 30.33%

Congratulations to FF and the open source world, but what are the reasons why IE is still at 60%?

Microsoft has achieved a lock in the corporate world by binding the use of IE into its Exchange and Back Office infrastructure. Users accessing Outlook through a non Microsoft browser see a very reduced functionality (there is really no reason for this as all modern browsers support xmlhttp like functionality). Seems like a non-standard proprietary lock-in to me.

Of course one of the main reasons people don’t switch is that they don’t even know what a browser is, as demonstrated by the Google team in New York.

IE has made some improvements to get to version 8, including better CSS 2 support, although much of the functionality seems to have borrowed from the other browsers.  Any reasonable analysis indicates that innovation is taking place in Chrome, FF or Opera.

Techmeme is also reporting some stats