It's been a while since we looked at the latest browser stats, so I thought I'd check out two browser statistic pages, "BrowserWatch" and "Web Trends" to see what they had to say about it all. According to BrowserWatch, Windows dominates the Web, with 58.7% of all surfers using some version of the Microsoft OS. Macintosh is second with 27.1% and UNIX is a distant third with 4.43%. In BrowserWatch's somewhat dubious browser comparison, Netscape Navigator (all versions) hold only a thin lead over Internet Explorer, 46.2% to 42.2%. All other browsers are statistically negligible. Even I don't believe it's that close, BTW. Over at Web Trends, you can watch the browser wars proceed month to month. According to that page, Netscape Navigator's lead slipped to 54.4% by the end of December, while Internet Explorer nudged up again to 33%. Web Trends also notes that the vast majority of Navigator and Internet Explorer users are browsing with version 3.0 of their respective browsers with 4.0 versions of each making their first hits. So what's the truth, you ask? If you browse the Netscape page, they will cite a survey saying that their share has never dipped below 80%. This is ludicrous, of course. On the other hand, I don't think anyone believes that Navigator and Internet Explorer are neck and neck, as BrowserWatch indicates. My theory is that the truth is somewhere in the middle, as the Web Trends figures suggests. What this means for Web publishers is that Navigator is still the target market to shoot for. On the other hand, those ignoring Internet Explorer do so at their own risk. In the end, any browser stats are going to be open to criticism. Update: Interestingly, another one of Netscape's wild claims came under fire this week: the company claims that 12 million people are using the E-mail program that is bundled with Navigator. While no one doubts that at least 12 million people downloaded Navigator, few, if any believe that that many people use the E-mail component. Of course, Netscape also claims that 50 million people use their browser. The highest estimate of the number of people using the Internet is in the 30 million range, making Netscape's figures unrealistic. According to Windows magazine, the figure is closer to 18 million. I myself have downloaded Netscape at least 12-15 times in the past few years, and I do not use their E-mail component. Want more information? BrowserWatch Web Trends