back to article Microsoft's IE 8 'most widely used browser', rules ASA

The UK’s advertising watchdog has ruled that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 browser is the most widely used web surfing tool, following an investigation of one of the company's ads. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) probed a complaint about an internet ad in which Microsoft said that Blighty surfers could “Download the …

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Bronze badge
Alert

Isn't that what the monotonies commision are for

It's widely installed because it's foisted on the unsuspecting masses (and government employees)

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Unhappy

I wish

As a government employee (and anonymous coward)... see title.

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Bronze badge

Well duh!

"We considered that readers were likely to interpret the claim ‘the most widely used browser’ as being specific to Internet Explorer 8, not as referring to all versions of Internet Explorer collectively, and to infer that Internet Explorer 8 was installed on more computers worldwide than any other browser"

I don't think there's any need for interpretation. Most widely used can surely only mean the browser used by the most people.

As for the complainant, what sort of doylem actually supports their complaint with data that doesn't actually support their complaint?

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Gold badge

Duh? or maybe that should be D'oh!

"As for the complainant, what sort of doylem actually supports their complaint with data that doesn't actually support their complaint?"

Glad someone else found that odd. I wonder what the ASA people thought.

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FAIL

Title should be changed.......

To the most hacked browser on the planet.

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FAIL

Well, then the ASA would have to get involved...

Win 7 + IE 8 is widely recognised as the single most difficult OS / Browser combo to hack. And the browser which has had the highest number of unpatched vunerabilites for the last 4 years running? Firefox. Look it up, I can't be bothered to find a link. If anything the ASA should be looking at Firefoxes "Faster, More secure & Customisable" tagline, as it is demonstrably not the best at any one of those things.

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You've got to compare apples with apples

If the complainant in this case was rolling up several Firefox versions' market share together to beat IE8's share then IE would need to be allowed to do the same. Sounds sensible to me!

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WTF?

IE6

I still see visits from IE6! < I know, right! WTF!

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Happy

re: IE6

I'm still using IE6 at work. It's not yet been updated to something modern. The Reg looks dreadful, which is why I have unofficially installed Firefox, too.

AC, obviously....

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Stop

What a time-wasting nerd

I bet his complaint used the word "Mickey$$$oft".

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Soo...

He's probably on here reading this right now then...

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Silver badge

Hmm...

I show FF 3.6 at 34.5% and IE 8 at 15.6% for that period (source: w3schools), then again browser stats are notoriously inaccurate.

One more thing, the ASA did not say that IE 8 was the most used browser, they simply did not uphold the complaint. Quite a different thing.

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Boffin

"browser stats are notoriously inaccurate."

Not to mention w3schools is aimed exclusively at forward thinking webdevs who probably run Firefox just for the use of Firebug (I know I do). In fact I'm surprised their figures for Firefox and Chrome aren't much much higher...

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@The Bigyin

W3schools is a site about web development, it's not exactly representative of a typical web user. This is something they even say on their stats page.

If I stood outside the "poodle lovers club" and conducted a survey on people's favourite dog breed, would I then be able to accurately state that "90% of the world say that poodles are their favourite dog breed"?

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Coat

Poodle lovers' club?

Is that one of those specialist web sites?

GJC

I know, I know - coat, door....

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Thumb Up

Sense prevails

I've lost count of the number of arguments/comments on this site where Firefox fanboys keep preaching it's the most popular browser by combining all versions of it against the most recent (and still therefore growing).

When someone says to make that test fair you need to combine all versions of IE, they counter-argue that IE5 and IE6 are obsolete so shouldn't be counted counted (Eh? Talk about clutching at straws).

When you ask whether this means Firefox 1.0 isn't obsolete and can handle most sites as well as the current version of IE from the same time they just get abusive and click the thumbs down icon....

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Seriously?

----

I've lost count of the number of arguments/comments on this site where Firefox fanboys keep preaching it's the most popular browser...

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Find one - just one - where someone has said that without quoting the W3Schools stats.

I've seen millions where people say IE is shit and quite a few that say Firefox is buggy/bloated (and quite a few really annoyingly smug posts from Opera users - yeah, I get it it's a good browser, I even use it occasionally - jeez) - but I can't remember having ever seen a post stating "Firefox is teh most used brwsr on teh intarwebs - EVA!1!!!!."

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Argumentum ad populum. Seems an odd thing for the ASA to look into.

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FAIL

Semantics failure

Most widely installed != Most widely used.

Remember, Mark Twain once said "There are 3 kinds of falsehood; Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics".

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Silver badge

What about mobile browsers?

OK, most browsers are probably still on the desktop, but with mobile browsing taking off exponentially I'll wager that ibrowser or android will have the top spot soon.

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WTF?

This old chestnut again?

Who cares as long as the person using it is happy with what they are using (bugs/security flaws included) I stopped using IE as I just found it too slow, then I stopped using Firefox because I just found it was too ugly and cumbersome, then I stopped using Safari because it was just plain crap, so now I'm on Chrome. No doubt I will find something else after a while but at the moment I'm happy enough with it.

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WTF?

Widely believed

It's also (still) widely believed that the sun orbits the earth (http://www.gallup.com/poll/3742/new-poll-gauges-americans-general-knowledge-levels.aspx)

(And that's just the US. Imagine what the stats must look like for less "well educated" countries).

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Silver badge

Frankly, you just can't tell.

It would appear that MSIE is the most popular judging by data pulled from the WikiMedia server logs [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers#Wikimedia_.28April_2009_to_present.29 ], which is interestingly a rather different picture than W3CSchools portrays.

That said, I have several non-PC browsers which 'identify' themselves as MSIE7 (instead of their real minority IDs); and my Opera identifies itself as Firefox 3.6. I have IE8, but I only ever use that for Microsoft's own site...

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