If you look at a page like this one that describes the support for various CSS pseudo-classes across browsers, it quickly becomes clear that a web designer is constrained constantly by the long list of things that are not supported in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and even 8. Put together, these three versions of IE still dominate the browser market (as shown in the first figure below), but that’s been changing steadily.
Internet Explorer version 9 frees the designer from most of these constraints, but it’s still only out in beta and its adoption rate may be slow given the statistics for IE 6 and IE 7, shown here:
For personal use, I prefer Chrome. It’s still the fastest and most lightweight in my experience. However, overall, I hope there are at least two browsers that share dominance of the market. For most technology, but especially for software, competition seems to be an essential catalyst of progress. Moreover, there has to be a strong presence of other (niche) browsers that push the big ones to a common standard.
I have a dream… that one day… I will not have to write 4-5 browser-specific lines of code to accomplish a single trivial task (either for layout or for function). Thanks to Chrome and Firefox threatening the dominance of Internet Explorer, that dream is becoming more and more a reality each day.