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Over 75% Now Have HTML5 Compatible Browsers – But How Many Are Installed Where Your DAM System Is Being Used?

by Nick Brookes on November 1, 2012

On CMS Report yesterday, an article claimed that over 75% of users in the US (and 83% in Europe) now have HTML5 compatible browsers:

With nearly 75% of end users in North America, and 83% in Europe, running browsers that support a large segment of the HTML5 feature set, the growing market penetration of HTML5 is rapidly on the rise. This is further demonstrated in the number of HTML5-compatible browsers that grew from 57% to 75% between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012.” [Read More]

It’s great news that HTML5 is finally achieving increased market penetration as this considerably expands the scope of what is possible for browser based DAM systems.  However, the issue with a lot of these aggregated statistics across wide ranges of users is that they mask local variations, especially within a specific organisation.

I imagine this figure includes lots of mobile browsers in smartphones and tablets.  Many of those devices either cannot or do not get used at work.  Although that is slowly changing with some BYOD (Bring Your Own Device trends) in more progressive IT departments it’s unwise to base compatibility assumptions on anything other than the lowest common denominator.

I don’t have figures to support it, but our consulting experience suggests that Internet Explorer 8 appears to be the more commonly used browser in corporate and public sector environments.  IE8 doesn’t support HTML5 properly (only a minor subset).  There are still a minority of users on IE7 (and even still some IE6 deployments in active use).  As such, when we work with vendors who tell us that their web based DAM relies on HTML5, we insist on a full test of the system across all the target users before implementations are commenced.

If you are purchasing a DAM system (or other content technology) right now and the vendor starts quoting these kind of HTML5 penetration figures at you as reasons why they think their HTML5 only solution ‘should be okay’ then you need to reality check this carefully well before you plan to deploy.  It’s essential to have an alternative option worked out if it transpires that some or all of the target users cannot access a given feature due to browser compatibility issues and the vendor should be able to fully support you with that requirement.  Most vendors provide some kind of sandbox environment and that should be the first port of call in this process.

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