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Vista-to-XP ratio getting much better

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Webmasters can be obsessive about Web browser statistics, such as what browser people are using, what version number, etc.

Another statistic that can be an important "tell" is what operating system people are using, because it telegraphs a lot of information about your visitors' computers and capabilities.

For example, someone using Windows 98 is going to have an old, very underpowered PC, whereas someone using Windows Vista will tend to have a more modern, capable computer.

That information is important to me because it tells me how far I can go with delivering leading-edge features.  If only 5% of the people visiting the site is capable of using a feature, I won't waste my time on it.  But if 60% of visitors can use something, I give it more attention.  If 90% of the visitors can use something, most of my effort goes there.

So one of the stats I watch closely is the ratio of Windows XP users to Windows Vista users, because the more Vista users there are, the more leading-edge features I feel comfortable spending the time creating.

For a long time, the number of Vista users remained pretty steady at only about 25% of the number of XP users.  So if there were 1,000 Windows XP users visiting Lottery Post at a certain point, I could pretty accurately predict that at that moment there were also about 250 Windows Vista users on the site.  The statistics continued bearing out that ratio for a long time.

But recently, I have noticed a sharp uptick in the number of Vista users on the site — a very encouraging statistic.

That ratio of XP-to-Vista users is now up to about 50%.  At this moment (at this time I'm writing this) there are 1,113 Windows XP visitors and 582 Windows Vista visitors — which equates to 52%.  That's nice to see!

I'm not sure as to the timing of why that is happening now.  Maybe it's the upcoming release of Windows 7, or computer companies having big sales, or something else.  But I do know that it helps bring me closer to getting my hands unshackled as far as being able to build much more slick, friendly features.

On the other hand, one statistic that is still too high, and I'd like it to drop like a stone, is the number of IE6 users.  IE6 continues to be the bane of my existence.  It is so full of security holes and is so incredibly buggy that I am constantly holding back on delivering exciting things because there are still too many IE6 users to completely drop support for it.

In fact, there are more IE6 users on the site at any one time than Firefox users.  That's a real mind-bender!  (Right now there are 303 IE6 visitors and 231 visitors using any version of Firefox.)  

Every single IE6 user has a PC that is capable of running Firefox.  Their entire web browsing experience would be 20-thousand times better using Firefox than it is with IE6, and it doesn't cost a penny to upgrade.  I wish there was a way I could reach across the Internet and click download for them.

Anyway, I mentioned Windows 7 earlier, and I'll be doing a write-up on it sometime in the future.  Suffice to say in the meantime that it is just plain awesome.  In fact, I'm using the latest build of Windows 7 (build 7057) right now as I write this.  Everything is just so refined and ... logical.  And it's fast too — faster than both Vista and XP in all the tests I've seen.  That's been my experience as well.

More on that another time!

Entry #502

Comments

1.
truecriticComment by truecritic - March 15, 2009, 1:47 am
As you might remember I moved onto Vista long ago but I have to wonder why you worry about IE6 having security issues? I felt 100% safe when I used IE6 while at Lottery Post. In fact, I never had security issues anywhere I traveled the internet using IE6. I know many have had problems.   I like the idea that the browser will do "anything" - like running javascripts for instance. Naturally I don't like bad javascript but I have problems running good ones on IE7.

I stick by IE over Firefox. I haven't found any need to switch to Firefox. I don't find it more convenient or faster. Maybe some kind of bad experience with IE will change my mind?

It will be a long time before I upgrade to Windows 7 - simply because they removed programs that have always come with Windows OS. And I also don't want any of the "Live" programs. Somehow the word "Live" leaves a bad taste.   Windows Live Mail cuts out so much creativity that Outlook Express had. The current Windows Mail isn't as good as OE either. However, it is not scheduled to be continued and so MS won't fix it.
2.
ToddComment by Todd - March 15, 2009, 9:08 am
IE6 has many well-documented security flaws that make browsing with it unacceptible for anyone who is worried about security threats on the Internet.

Let me give you one example.

If I wanted to, I could read the contents of your Windows clipboard every time you come to Lottery Post, and you'd never know I did it.

Now, I am a "good guy" of webmasters, and I dont believe in doing that kind of thing, but there are many people out there who aren't so scrupulous. Hopefully you didn't copy your social security number or bank accout number or password just before visiting one of their web sites.
3.
ToddComment by Todd - March 15, 2009, 9:15 am
I forgot to address your statement about JavaScript. IE6 and IE7 use an identical flavor of JavaScript. If anything IE7 is better because it fixes several bugs in IE6's implementation. Maybe you have some other problem that is influencing your feelings about it, like maybe Internet security settings that are set too high or something, but there's no way that the JavaScript or general abilities of IE6 are better in any way over IE7.

Mind you, I like the new IE8 much better than IE7, but I think it's important to take things one step at a time, especially for anyone still stuck on IE6.
4.
Comment by LottoVantage - March 15, 2009, 9:52 am
Here is a problem I am having with Vista that is totally overwhelming, with no answer in sight. All of the graphics I have created for my StatPath-5 Lotto System are produced manually. I use "Microsoft Office" Keyboards to accomplish this work. To my total amazement, after I purchased a new Laptop with Vista Ultimate 64 bit, I learned that Microsoft no longer supports drivers for these keyboards, (I have four of them). It is impossible to keep up with any other keyboard doing the work I do, and trying to use my new Laptop running Vista Ultimate is useless. I just cannot believe Microsoft dropped support for their own keyboard preventing anyone from using them with Vista.
5.
ToddComment by Todd - March 15, 2009, 10:46 am
I have one of those keyboards myself. The only thing that annoys me about it is that the Function Lock button always resets to "off" when you reboot the PC. Grrrr...

There is a fix available, but it requires a little work. Basically you need to install IntelliType 5.0, available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3d0ba152-5d92-4772-a2fd-5ab35c750685&DisplayLang=en

Then you have to open the installation folder at "C:\Program Files (x86)\<IntelliType>", and seek out each and every ".exe" file within that folder and all sub-folders. For each ".exe" file you find, you need to right-click, click Properties, go to the Compatibilty tab and force it to Windows XP mode. If you miss even a single .exe file it does not work.

You then have to configure IntelliType like you would for any new installation. Try running it from the Start menu and see if that works. I have heard there are issues trying to make it work from the Control Panel applet, but it shouldn't affect the keyboard. At least all of your keys should work.

Hope this helps, let me know how you make out. There is always "uninstall" if something goes awry!
6.
Comment by LottoVantage - March 15, 2009, 11:15 am
Thanks a bunch for the info. I'll certainly give this a try and see what happens. I will keep you up to date on my progress, which may take some time. Here's hoping for the best though, and thanks again for your help.
7.
lakerbenComment by lakerben - December 25, 2010, 12:57 pm
Where can I get the statpath-5 software?

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