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Up to this point I had believed that macromedia's statement was probably quite accurate. The sample size of the study was most probably significantly large, which is always a prerequisite of a true-to-life study.
However it wasn't until I recently introduced some flash content onto our company's website that I realised that not everyone in my office could actually view flash content on their MSIE6 browsers. Of the 11 computers I looked at, 3 of these could not view flash. Now I realise that my sample is small, but I definitely thought when looking at this 97% figure that more in my office would be able to view flash content.
How this situation came to be, is besides the point. From where i'm standing this is a situation quite possibly repeated widely across the world. We must remember that the majority of us at WebmasterWorld are 'computer experts' of varying degrees. There must be a large number of people out there who are internet enabled, but who's knowledge means that they do not have flash player and do not know how or where to get it.
Are we all conscious enough when it comes to the numbers of flash enabled browsers out there? or does Macromedia's statement provide enough comfort for us?
The WHITE PAPER
I don't see details of the research method in the report. I also take it the estimated error is from Macromedia not from NPD. From a quick check of the NPD site their panels are self selected with the promise of
Anyone got their own data?
(Notice that the prevalence of Flash 6 is in the low to mid 80's but version 5 format is mid to low 90's.)
However, they're likely to make some kind of correction. But I believe researchers in general tend to be too optimistic about their sample being representative.
Flash is abused 90% of the time for ad content that I don't care to see (or hear) or suck my bandwidth. If there is an animation I want to enjoy I just download it first and play it back outside the browser.
And nothing annoys me more than having the popup appear to ask me to download the latest version of flash to see some clown's banner advertisement! NFI