Browsers, OS, Mobile, Resolution – The Top 10 Of Everything

I’m sure you’ve all heard me boasting lately (probably to the point of wanting to stab me in the eye with your pen) about how happy we’ve been with the traffic that our fledgling humor site, Daily Shite is getting.

Daily Shite is a very interesting site to me, not just because I own it, but because it is an ” every man” site. Our demographics and audience are not the tech crowd. Nor are they of any one particular niche. We’re a bit of everything for everybody, something which has come about by the fact that we don’t post anything with a  visual over roughly PG 13. In other words, no T&A, so you can browse at work, or school or with your girlfriend and not worry ;)

This universal appeal makes the statistics gathered by tools such as Google Analytics (which is where all the stats in this post come from) incredibly interesting because it gives a more real world view of browser and OS usage than looking at the statistics for this blog or TechCrunch would. Niches tend to be skewed one way or the other and Daily Shite manages to avoid all that.

Anyway, the graphs below are based on our Google Analytics for the past 30 days (February 5th 2010 – March 7th 2010) and cover 1,427,403 unique visits (not page views, that’s a far higher number but useless here, all we want is actual user statistics).

The Top 10 Browsers:

Top 10 Browsers February 2010

Firefox is way out in the lead with a massive 74.77%

The big surprise here is that Chrome (11.28% of traffic) is seriously outpacing Internet Explorer (7.72%). Another surprise is that IE only makes up less than 8% of our traffic.

The break down of IE usage is also interesting with almost 72% using Internet Explorer 8 and just 3% still back on the archaic IE6.

Internet Explorer by Version

The Top 10 Operating Systems:

Top Ten Operating Systems February 2010

Does Linux matter anymore?

No surprise that Windows in the big leader here. I am surprised to see Mac OS at nearly 23% and I’m also wondering how long it will be before iPhone and iPod (and iPad) start to eclipse Linux.

Vista is the dominant Microsoft OS at the moment with at over 40% but a big surprise is the Windows 7 adoption which is already making up over 24% of our windows based users. I expect to see both XP and Vista numbers decline over time as Win 7 adoption continues.

Windows by OS Version

Top Ten Browser & Operating System Combinations

Browsers and Operating Sytstem Combinations

Firefox is the browser of choice

Mac users must not like Safari all that much. Firefox is getting more than 4 times the love than Safari does on it’s native system and Chrome is making decent inroads with 1.27%. Of little surprise however, is that regardless of what operating system you use, Firefox is the browser of choice.

I thought that in 2010 Java support would be almost ubiquitous, however 8.62% or 123,001 or our visitors didn’t have Java support enabled.  This can’t be accounted for by mobile visits because mobile traffic only made up 0.56% of our visits ( a number which we are definitely working to improve.).

Java Support

Over 8% of users don't have Java enabled

Top 10 Mobile Operating Systems

Top 10 Mobile Devices

iPhone and iPod dominate

No real surprises here as the iPhone and iPod dominate with over 78% of the traffic combined. Android puts in a good showing at almost 12% and I wonder if it’s not time to say “bye bye” to PalmOS?

Top 10 Screen Resolutions

Screen Resolutions

1024x768 isn't going away any time soon

While these numbers probably aren’t that interesting to most folks, to developers they are key as we get some idea of what kind of screen real estate we have to play with and what kind of resolutions we need to be targeting.

The most telling resolutions here are the dominant 1280×800, which is probably due to laptop owners and people who purchased early TFT’s, and 1024×768 which is still in use by over 9% of our visitors so I don’t think developers will be able to drop support for that resolution anytime soon.

So, that’s out roundup based on the past 30 days of traffic and 1,427,403 unique visits according to Google Analytics.

There’s a lot of interesting information to be gleaned from this and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. I’ll do another post like this in a month or two in order to see how the landscape has changed and what we can learn from it.

Chromium OS First Impression: The 90’s Set-top Box of 2010?

An Opeating System. Supposedly.

An Operating System. Supposedly.

As most of you are aware I am a huge Google fan but…

If Google’s Chrome browser went to the office Christmas party and had a one night stand with Linux behind the bar, then Chromium OS would be the resultant bastard child.

Unfortunately for this particular bastard child it would share none of the looks, speed or intelligence which makes either of its parents great.  In the chromosomal world of this coupling all of the good genes have been invited to a party and headed off to get pissed and enjoy themselves, leaving only the crud of the genetic pool to great baby Chromium.

Normally I take a great deal of geeky pleasure in testing a new operating system so today I enthusiastically followed Jorge Sierras quick post about how to run Google Chrome OS from a USB drive, edited my bios settings to allow booting from USB and in next to no time was looking a a big blue login screen. That was where the fun and excitement stopped.

Chromium (or Chrome OS) is supposed to be an operating system for connected folk. In fact about all you can do with the operating system is be online. Want to do something offline? Forget it, better go back to your Windows or Mac laptop, Chrome OS is not for you baby!

So being the connected chappy that I am I was surprised when asked to log in with my Google account but wasn’t presented with a place to enter the network password for my Wi-Fi.

I had to log in with the default username (chronos – no password) and then go about finding out where the network settings were. After clicking enable wi-fi a few times it still wouldn’t connect and never asked my for my password even though my wi-fi light was glowing happily away at the front of my laptop.

In the end I was forced to whip out an ethernet cable and connect that way (irony or what?).

Windows 95?

Windows 95?

Inside the operating system wasn’t much of a better experience. The UI felt slow and very underdeveloped (although the browser itself was fast but that’s to be expected, it’s Chrome after all) and moving through the options menu felt like I was back in Windows 95 or NT.

To be fair, part of the slowness I felt could have been attributable to the fact that I was running the Chromium from a USB key but I have run other linux distros (and that’s what Chromium is under the hood) from USB keys before, as well as tested a lot of portable apps and none of them felt quite this slow.

It wasn’t terribly slow, just slow. Hard to quantify although as I said earlier the browser felt snappy enough actually surfing.

Chromium comes with a few “preinstalled” applications which are actually all shortcuts to web based apps such as Gmail, Pandora etc. There is actually nothing installed in the operating system. I suppose if living exclusively online is your thing then this won’t bother you but my love/hate affair with the cloud is well known and I don’t really want an operating system that is practically useless if  you don’t have access to web.

Everything about Chromium feels unfinished and even not particularly well thought out. It’s as if the guys at Google had a collective brain fart, decided to prototype an operating system, gave up a fifth of the way through the prototype to go for beers and decided to release it when they came back a full six sheets to wind.

Just won't open!

Just won't open!

Take saving an image you find on the web as an example.

I visited the gallery on this blog and attempted to save an image. In order to find my saved image I had to go to the downloads section of Chrome where I could see that it was downloaded. Clicking on the link to display the file or open the folder didn’t work.

It didn’t matter how many times I clicked that link, it wouldn’t open and to top it off, the preview image didn’t display either.

Now, for someone like me that is not the end all of trying to access the file. The more tech savvy of you are aware that in most (all?) browsers you can get to the file system of the computer.

Browsing files

Browsing files

In Chromium this can be achieved by typing “file://” and hitting enter in the address bar. This results in a listing of directories and files much the same as you get when you visit an open directory on the web in your browser.

If you are familiar with Linux it’s easy to find the file image you’ve saved, once you’re prepared to click on “mnt” and then find “chronos” all the way to the “downloads” folder. Easy simple. No seriously, everyone will be doing it soon so you might as well get used to it!

Chromium isn’t finished. Not by a long shot. It’s shitty even for a Linux distribution of the incredibly lame ‘made by a 1st time learner’ variety. It has no file explorer, the interface is crap, finding saved files is a nightmare and even simple things like logging on and off or even just properly shutting down your machine are lacking UI menus and buttons.

Chromium may have a place in internet cafes and libraries where a locked down environment without much functionality is required, but even there it may have problems. Printing is not supported at the moment and for those of you intending to use it at home you can forget about hooking up your portable hard drive or that nice mouse you’ve got.

If you have a laptop or even a netbook and you install Chromium then you are cutting the functionality and usefulness of that device by about 50% (90% for a decent laptop) and that’s a best case scenario. If you do eventually buy a device that is Chromium only then I’d consider getting your head examined because there are better things to spend money on, like a descent coffee machine while you save for a real laptop that can actually do things beyond just surf the web.

Back in the 90’s we had set top boxes for your TV that allowed you access the internet and had about as much functionality as Chromium. They were a gimmick. Cheap, cheerful and useless.

Do we really want to go back to that?

The Cloud isn’t Everything

Which one?

Which one?

John Gruber (Daring Fireball) has been arguing the case for PC manufacturers to build their own operating systems.

The essential argument being that with everything that we use every day already existing in the cloud it shouldn’t matter what OS we are running.

Apple has separated themselves from the crowd by developing their own OS and hardware, other PC manufacturers should be doing the same thing or just give up and die.

If Palm can create WebOS for pocket-sized computers — replete with an email client, calendaring app, web browser, and SDK — why couldn’t these companies make something equivalent for full-size computers?

If Apple and Palm can do it (and now Google) then why aren’t Dell, Sony, HP and the rest of the big gin PC manufacturers?

These PC makers are lacking in neither financial resources nor opportunity. What they’re lacking is ambition, gumption, and passion for great software and new frontiers. They’re busy dying.

Johns logic is sound as long as you are willing to make the assumption that the only reason personal computers are used today is to surf the web and be online.

The web is a great resource and has enriched or lives dramatically but is only of any value if you can actually connect to it. Admittedly, for most of the developed, world it is now easy to connect to the web even while on the move, but even when you do connect the service that you want is not always there.

Your email host may be down. Your web applications host may have server issues or simply shut up shop.

What about graphic designers or people doing audio and video editing? Photoshop on the web? Not likely! Not in a way that offers the power and options of CS4 running on my laptop.

As we’ve already seen most online applications are cut down versions, lacking the feature set and power of the their desktop “big brother”.

Can you imagine editing a high definition video and having to upload gigabytes of data to the cloud before you could begin editing your footage? Not to mention the bandwidth costs to the service providing the editing software.

What of the lowly PC gamer? Will Activision develop a version fo Call of Duty 2 for Sony OS, Google OS, HP OS, Windows, Mac and god knows how many other OS’s?

How about Photoshop, Firefox or iTunes for all these platforms as well?

I think not. It’s just not a practical solution. Most companies have a hard time getting versions of their software out for Windows, Mac and Linux at the moment.

The reason we have so much diversity in software at the moment and so much polished quality software that we rely on, is because the operating system arena is not saturated in the way that John wants is encouraging.

If it was, then talented developers would all be working on incredibly similar projects for a vast number operating systems, their talent and the programs they develop reaching incredibly limited audiences.

As it stands now we have vast armies of developers working for a limited number of platforms which allows them to develop and innovate without having to constantly reinvent the wheel. They can build upon and learn from the work and code of others.

Lets not even bring the issue of software patents into the mix!

Imagine if every time you wrote an application you had to do it for 16 different operating systems with their own file systems, quirks and API’s? A nightmare!

In fact it is that nightmare that would bring us very rapidly back to a situation where we had only a small number of OS’s as developers would develop for the platform which is the most developer friendly.

This is turn would lead to end users choosing that platform as it would have the greatest choice of software and support. That in turn brings more developers to the platform because the money is where the users are.

As John notes this already happened in the early days of personal computing when we had a massive amount of operating system choices and they all whittled away as developers and users moved to the platforms with the most choice and users.

See where I’m going with this? Even if every PC manufacturer released an OS tomorrow, after a while we would end up with the vast majority of people using only 2 or three of those operating systems.

Everything is not in the cloud, nor should it be. The cloud is unreliable. Connections to the cloud are unreliable and the cloud can’t match the convenience or power of software running locally on your home PC or laptop.

What ever happened to ION Linux?

Back in June of 2004 I wrote about Element Computers who had developed ION, a Linux desktop OS, which was supposed to run all windows executables at top speeds?

Element Computer has overcome the final barrier for Linux adoption
on desktops by mainstream businesses.

The company has unveiled the worlds first Linux desktop OS, called ION, which can run all Windows executables at top speeds, using a new WinLauncher technology powered by Win4Lin from Netraverse.

As of July 1st, all Element Computer laptops, tablets, and PCs will
become Win enabled, and allow users to copy and paste between Linux and Windows applications on the same desktop, combined with filesystem integration and common “My Documents”, drives and printers.

I know this OS was only ever supposed to be released with the hardware from Element Computers, but what ever happened to it?

Was it Element Computers bought out? Did it fold? Was their code merged into another distro and if so why do we still not have seamless Windows applications integration in Linux?

Imagine if I was a novice (Mac) user…

I’m not anti-Mac! In fact I’m not anti any operating system. They all have their own strengths and weakness’s and I view them all in the same way as I view applications or screwdrivers – tools for getting a specific job done.

But, I came across this on Digg today – And They Said the Mac Was Intuitive. From a site dubbed “Apple Matters – A serious yet irreverent look at all things Apple”.

This guy seriously gives Mac users a bad name!

This guys rants on a blames Apple because he managed to delete the hidden system folder “/usr” using a 3rd party application.

Some choice quotes from his post:

Well, yesterday I wanted to clean up my Mac by removing apps and using Cocktail to clean up caches and such. While perusing my hard disk, I saw this folder and thought, “I don’t need this”

Was this folder mentioned in the Mac documentation? Nope. Was this folder name something easily discovered online? Reasonably so, although I didn’t think to go looking until after the debacle.

<Sarcasm>Because it is, after all, Apples job to explain the complexities of UNIX operating systems to novice users and ensure you’re fully versed before letting you within 6 foot of the computer! </Sarcasm>

Anyone out there know how to fix the permissions on my usr folder so I can hide it again?

This however, must be the best quote of all:

Imagine if I was a novice user…yikes!

Yep, you read that last one right! I should think that even folks who’ve NEVER touched a computer before would know better than to go around arbitrarily deleting folders when they aren’t sure of their purpose or what they contain.

It’s this level of idiocy that makes me worry for the future of humanity!

Official – Microsoft has head in bum!

Well, they must if they think folks are going to fork out for a brand new OS is 2009 (Mary Jo Foley). Hell, a huge dollop of the current XP users will still be XP users in 2009.

This week, Windows Core Operating System Division Corporate Vice President Ben Fathi was quoted as saying the next version was more like two to two-and-a-half years away.

I agree with TDavid on this one! 2 years before I have to lay out the kind of cash, again,  that Vista cost me is 3 years to soon.

There’s one thing about releasing more frequent (and free) OS upgrades and patches but major version upgrades ($$$) should offer customers something more compelling. Apple is a smaller more nimble company than Microsoft and it makes sense for them to produce major upgrades more frequently than Microsoft, but I don’t even think they should offer major upgrades as frequently.

Alas, the ink is still wet on Vista and apparently the next version of Windows is already well underway and could be here as soon as 2009.

Aren’t Microsoft worried about Vista adoption in business? You bet they are, so this is a plain asshat move. A lot of business’s traditionally wait 6 months or until after the 1st service pack before deploying. They’re simply not going to want to spend the cash on Vista if the next OS is coming only a meager 18 months after their traditional rollout timeframe. Especially when you consider a lot of business are still on Windows 2000 and there is very little reason for the one using XP to want to go to Vista. After all, business does not need the eye-candy!

 Microsoft should focus on rolling out at least 2 service packs for Vista before asking us all to upgrade to a new OS. They should roll the features they want in Vienna (crap name for an OS)  into Vista via service packs and actually give XP users a real reason besides eye-candy, to want to buy Vista and upgrade.

Microsoft is really putting the cart before the horse on this one,

Vista Upgrade requires old OS to be installed.

Via /.

kapaopango writes “Ars Technica is reporting that upgrade versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Premium, and Starter Edition cannot be installed on a PC unless Windows XP or Windows 2000 is already installed. This is a change from previous versions of Windows, which only required a valid license key. This change has the potential to make disaster recovery very tedious. The article says: ‘For its part, Microsoft seems to be confident that the Vista repair process should be sufficient to solve any problems with the OS, since otherwise the only option for disaster recovery in the absence of backups would be to wipe a machine, install XP, and then upgrade to Vista. This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.'”

I hope this isn’t true, or that Microsoft releases some sort of fix for it. I have a number of machines that I’ll upgrade to Vista and the thought of having to install XP before Vista every time I wipe the system (which I do minimum once a year whether it needs it or not) leaves me wondering if I’ll have to by some more Scotch?

One thing Linux has that Windows does not!

There’s one thing that the Linux desktop has that Windows doesn’t! It’s the ability to scale the background image to a maximum size for the screen while keeping the aspect ratio of the image.

Windows just stretches the image to fill the screen and warps it in all directions. What I want in windows is to have an irregular size image and when it’s stretched have it fill the screen from top to bottom with a border on the sides, or from side to side with a border on top and bottom, all depending on the size of the image.

So when am I going to have this Microsoft? Am I going to have to wait for Vista? Or can you add this functionality as a power toy or something?

First step of writing a review – Remove head from bum!

XYZ Computing had their review of Linspires latest linux OS offering ” Linspire Five-O” slashdotted today.

Now, I am a linux fan and have multiple linux boxes lying around here and if anything really annoys me, it’s when somebody who doesn’t seem to know his elbow from his arse-hole does a review of an operating system.

Now, before I get flamed let me say this: I don’t read XYZ, and have no idea of the general quality of their reviews. I did however read this one, and the following quote was enough to make me realize that reviewer really knows SOD ALL about other OS’s.

The minimum requirements for Five-O:
– 800 MHz or higher processor
– 128 MB of RAM (256 MB or higher recommended)
– 4 GB free space
– SVGA or higher resolution and monitor (3-D graphics accelerator card for some games, screen savers, etc.)
– CD-ROM or DVD drive, Keyboard & Mouse
– Linspire-compatible sound card and speakers or headphones
– Linspire-compatible 56 Kbps hardware modem, cable modem, or DSL modem
– Ethernet card for Internet/LAN connectivity

These lax requirements is what allows Linspire (and other Linux distros) to run well on both inexpensive and old computers- both of which may have trouble with Windows XP. This is why the OS can be found on cheap computers at places like WalMart and while a $500 laptop may seem like a bad idea, you really do not need too much of a computer to power this OS.

Now, lets take a quick look at the specifications for Microsoft Windows XP Professional:

PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*
Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
CD-ROM or DVD drive
Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

What a difference a little research or knowledge about your subject matter can yield! Enough said!