After 2 days of release, about 2% of web traffic is via Internet Explorer 8. Compare that to the release of Firefox 3.0 and it makes you wonder if anyone even cares about IE8. After 3 days of the release of Firefox 3.0, it accounted for an amazing 19% of all web traffic.
View the stats here
So what does this mean?
Does it mean that no one is excited about IE8? (I installed it the first day, and had been testing the beta version)
Or does it mean that Firefox users are just much more progressive than the typical IE user?
I'm going to guess that Firefox users are much more sophisticated/power Internet users. IE8 is more of a defensive/catch up release by Microsoft, and not really a revolutionary step forward. IE's marketshare has fallen to about 67% and IE8 is not going to bring the other 33% back. At best Microsoft can hope it will just prevent further loss in market share.
Or... Does it really matter what browser we use anymore?
I would say no it doesn't. IE8, Firefox 3.0 and Google Chrome are all so close in functionality that it really doesn't matter. They all follow the latest web standards and provide very similar functionality.
So if you haven't downloaded IE8 yet, I would strongly recommend it. It is better in every way than its predecessor, especially from a speed and stability stand point. Visit Microsoft's website for a detailed list of new changes.
Be sure to test your website with Internet Explorer 8.0!
Your website provider may need to fix some things, and in the meantime they can add a special tag (X-UA-Compatible) to your website so it forces IE8 to load in IE7 compatibility mode until they fix the problems.
By the way... FireFox 3.5 is scheduled to come out this summer, which will raise the bar again for Internet Explorer to catch up to.
Even more importantly, Silverlight 3.0 was announced this week. This is actually big news. :-)