Official: No new browsers until 2003

Jakob Nielsen has a new alertbox up where he makes the outrageous claim that we’re going to be stuck designing solely for version 4 browsers until 2003!

“sites will have to support users with version 3 browsers until early 2001
version 4 will have to be supported until late 2003
Netscape 5 will never get more users than Netscape 4
not until the year 2003 will advanced browsers be sufficiently widely used to allow sites to go beyond the basics”
According to one of Jakob’s sources, 88% of users are using version 4 or 5 browsers. Don’t these count as advanced browsers capable of going beyond the basics? At what point do you draw the line and start using newer features? It’s as though the last four years never happened. Try comparing NS1 with NS4 or IE2 with IE5. Also Jakob seems to think that V6 of Netscape won’t be out until Dec 2000, despite the fact that his graphs shows 4 releases of Netscape in 2 years. Anyway, I suspect that there’ll never be a version 6 of Netscape, it’ll just be rolling, incremental upgrades to the Mozilla base.
By the way, can anyone else make sense of the figures in this article? Where do those extrapolations come from? They’re nothing like the graphs for earlier versions. And is it really news that small web accessible devices will proliferate in the coming years?

Permalink: http://blog.iandavis.com/1999/04/official-no-new-browsers-until-2003/


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