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1.1. Browsers

Before you can develop a strategy for addressing various browser capabilities, it is useful to have a general knowledge of the browsers that are out there. While web browsing clients are increasingly being built into small-display devices such as PDAs, telephones, and even car dashboards, this chapter focuses on the traditional graphical computer-based browsers that developers generally keep in mind. The particular needs of handheld devices are discussed further in Chapter 32.

1.1.1. The "Big Two"

The browser market is dominated by two major browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. As of this writing, Internet Explorer is in Version 5.5 for Windows (5.0 for Macintosh) and the Navigator browser is one component of Netscape 6 (they did not release a Version 5). Together, the "Big Two," including their collective past versions, account for over 95% of browser use today.


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