Browser Use In Higher Education – A Brake on Innovation?

A couple of weeks ago, I set up a quick poll to try to get a feel for what sort of browsers were being used as the default browser on computers in UK universities. I provided a little bit of rationale in a post on the IWMW blog (What’s the default browser on your network?) but the main reason was to get a feel for what sorts of browser any #jiscri apps might have to contend with if we wanted our JISCRI project apps to ever get used in that default user context (which is the point, right?!;-)

Anyway, here are the results, such as they are:

Hmmm…. (See also this Quirks Mode post on why “IE6 will continue to exist when IE7 has all but disappeared”.)

After a bit of consultation with @josswinn, I’ve popped up a more elaborate questionnaire here: JISCRI “What do we have to cope with browser wise” survey, so if you’ve a couple of minutes to spare, we’d appreciate you filling it in… (or not – what do I care?!;-)

If you want to create your own reports of the data, feel free (for a quick how to on that, see: Creating Your Own Results Charts for Surveys Created with Google Forms)

PS note that this is not an ‘official’ JISCRI survey, nor is it posted as part of a JISCRI project. I just thought it might be useful, that’s all… ;-)

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

5 thoughts on “Browser Use In Higher Education – A Brake on Innovation?”

  1. It’s the big corporate entities that use IE6, mostly due to having a standard system build that doesn’t do automagic updates and having testing procedures. Anyone else had the phone call “my computers broken, the internets different and its all your fault, fix it now!!!11one1one!!” because internet explorer/firefox has updated to a new version?.

    The bean counters also have a role in the naff browser game, they buy webapps that wont be certified to work with anything but IE or got them 6 years ago when IE6 was still current, then wont pay the ransom to get the upgrade to the latest version “because it costs too much, and the current version works fine”

    with browsers I like to follow the “don’t trust the user because you don’t know what they are running.” Rule of thumb, because getting phonecalls about “blah doesn’t work, your stupid I want my money back” saps the will to live.
    (and having a “this site needs browserX” is so 1997)

    here is a good place to get things to test compliance with

  2. How about asking MIMAS or EDINA to look at browser stats for one of their services – that should be pretty indicative for the community as a whole I would have thought? Or I guess I could ask people here for some stats from MyAthens or something?

  3. We periodically look at browser stats for the OU VLE. The latest graph I can see shows IE 7&8 60%, Firefox 20% and IE 6 15%, Safari 2%, Chrome 1%. That was from last March.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: