The Cost on Non-standard IE

Assume there are 10 million Web developers world wide (based on this article 10 million may be a very conservative number) that are using one of or all of JavaScript, CSS, DOM, HTML, XML. Assume those developers spend betweeen 10 and 15% of their time each day working on hacks, working arounds, and/or other fixes for non-standard code in IE. Let me testify as a Web Developer that is a very conservative percentage for many projects; and occasionally high for others. the amount of time spent doing checks/tests for CSS, DOM, and JavaScript compatibility – even with the help of autoscreening tools from Adobe GoLive or Macromedia Dreamweaver – can be annoyingly large. And I would say close to 40% of bugs in HTML/Web development pages trace back to browser incompatibilities – most frequently IE incompatibilities.

So doing the math is simple:

10,000,000 * 265 days/year * 8 hours per day * 12% of time = 2,544,000,000 man-hours/year (thats 2.5Billion)wasted courtesy of the good folks at 1 Microsoft Way.

And let me tell you, anybody who tells you that the “make work” involved is good for domestic employment should be forced to trackdown and correct the countless, dull variations on CSS, JavaScript and DOM coding errors and incompatibilities for one full week. Its Microsofts variation on the Chinese Water Torture gambit.

(c)JBSurveyer 2005

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