Well as another round of “latest and greatest” products come into play after the massive holiday gift-giving season, I like to take a look at trends and current stats for what settings and software internet users have.

The stat I pay attention to most is screen resolution.  This impacts my business the most as I like to keep in mind how wide a website design should be and how much information will fit “above the fold” for most internet users (see my previous blog entry for Above the Fold and stats from early last year).

Currently, 75% of web users have a resolution of 1024×768 or higher.  This is in contrast to the 78% that had 1024×768 or lower last April.  More and more wide-screen and large flat screen monitors and better video cards installed in the latest computer equipment are in use than ever before.  However, there is still a functional limit as we humans can only process so much and especially can read text only so tiny.  13% of users still have a resolution of 800×600 (the old standard) and I wonder if that demographic will ever truly go away.  Perhaps we will see trends where websites just start using larger fonts to meet the needs of an aging baby boomer generation.   Perhaps not, but time will tell.

Next, I check out browser popularity.  Microsoft is the giant with 84% of the internet community using some version of Internet Explorer.  However, this is a significant decrease from last year at this time (90%) as Firefox gains ground jumping from 6% to 11% in one year (yep, that is the exact amount Internet Explorer lost). If you want to check out Firefox yourself, you can here.

An amazing 19% already have adopted Internet Explorer 7 even though many early adopters, including myself, suggested that it may be better to Hold Off on IE7.

I hope you’ve found this informative as you build or continue to build your web presence.