Windows Market Share Below 90% for the First Time Ever 

For the first time ever, the Windows operating system has dropped below 90% market share, according to recent data released by Net Applications, Inc., a popular Web metrics company. Last month, only 89% of the users who connected to websites did so from Windows powered systems. This drop was the largest dip by Windows in the last two years. Meanwhile, Apple Inc.’s Mac OSX posted itsHow Does Your Website Look? biggest gain, growing to 8.9% market share. This was the third month in a row that Mac operating systems remained above 8%.

My grandfather used to say, “It’s hard to be all things to all people,” and he was most likely correct. This statement also holds true when it comes to online business. Your website needs to be as compatible as possible for every visitor, and this can be hard to accomplish. When it comes to PPC advertising, you’re paying for every visitor. If that visitor can’t use your website due to compatibility issues, you have just wasted your money.

Let me ask you this; What does your website look like on a Mac? How does it work?

Last month Internet Explorer’s market share dropped below 70%, while Firefox increased to 20.8%.

How does your website look and work with Firefox? How about Safari?
(Safari now has 7% market share)

I recently had a PPC management client whose website worked great with Firefox but had problems with Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, the designer only used Firefox and never bothered to check his design work on I.E. He just assumed it would work. Can you imagine? This client was missing out on 70% of his traffic until this issue was fixed.

It’s not uncommon for a shopping cart to work perfectly in Internet Explorer, yet have serious functionality problems in other browsers like Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Chrome (BETA). Different browsers react to code irregularities in different ways. Without checking, you will have no idea how your website behaves on different operating systems and browsers.

Ok, so you basically have two options for checking compatibility; check it out yourself, or use a tool.

There are tools available that will show you how your website looks through different browsers and on different operating systems. A free option is an open source tool called Browsershots.org. It can show you how your website looks on 4 different operation systems with dozens of different browser variations, with the ability to download screen shots for review. Of course, this will only show you how it looks, not how it works.

The best and most accurate solution is to actually check your website out yourself. This can be as easy as downloading the latest versions of these alternative browsers onto your own computer. Of course, you might not have a MAC system at your house, so a visit to a friend’s house might be needed. Your local library might have a token MAC available, or you could always demo one of the cool new systems at your local Apple store.

It doesn’t matter if your visitor is arriving from a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing campaign, or from a well placed organic listing, if the visitor can’t use your site you are going to miss out on the lead or sale. By checking your website’s compatibility on the different operating systems and browsers you could be opening up your business to a substantially wider audience while providing the best user experience possible to your new visitor.