Here are the browser stats from the last month, and the same period 1 & 2 year's ago:
Looking at the underlying data I'd draw the following conclusions:
- IE use is on the decline generally, and IE users are the slowest at upgrading
- Firefox usage appears to have plateaued (and they are the fastest to upgrade)
- Most growth is in new browser entrants.
- There is greater market fragmentation (more choice for consumers)
Around 73% of Windows users still use XP, and only 56% of Mac users are on OSX 10.5. The lower rate of Mac upgrades could limited by hardware restrictions.
For many website developers these figures will represent a significant challenge - you can no longer design your website for any one browser or OS. The days of 'best viewed in browser X' are gone.
And yes, I still see sites that only work in IE. I went to get an on-line quote for something last week, and the site simply would not work in Firefox or Safari. I took my business elsewhere. The average punter isn't going to know why - they'll just think the site doesn't work. Is this the branding message you want to send to visitors?
Based on these stats, failing to design cross-platform websites will give at least 15% of your users an inferior experience. That is a lot of lost traffic (and business).