With Nemo Documents being a .NET application we are dependent on users having a recent enough version of .NET installed. Luckily Microsoft is getting pretty good at pushing out the framework using Windows update. That being said, they are not very good at giving numbers about what percentage of Windows users are running each version of the framework. Others do provide some numbers though.
We built Nemo Documents to require at least .NET 3.5 and so far we have not heard many complains about that requirement. Being a WPF application, we would very much like our users to be running the .NET 4 version, as the font and image rendering is just fantastically much better.
.NET 4 was only released 8 months ago. Therefor we default to the .NET 3.5 version, when we don’t know if the client has .NET 4 installed or not. Even with Client Profile, we fear that having to install .NET first will make many users give up on trying the program.
The Internet Explorers user agent string contains the .NET versions installed so for those users we can serve the right version, but sadly neither Chrome nor Firefox gives out that. Firefox will support this in version 4 though.
Furthermore we have 64 bit versions. With Windows 7 it finally seems that 64 bit computing has become mainstream and because it is so easy to support this with .NET, we have of course chosen to do so.
Download statistics from the last 3 months from our web server shows that 23.40% of our users are running a .NET 4 version of Nemo Documents. We are really happy with these numbers especially given that only 25.79% of the visitors to our homepage are running IE. For the architecture we have 10.54% running the 64 bit version. A lower, but still a really good number.
The operating system percentages in the same 3 months period are 50.59% running Windows XP, 35.95% running Windows 7 and 11.36% running Windows Vista.
Here are some numbers from end of April. 87% of users are now running the .NET 4 version. Up from 23% with our old click-once based installer. Windows 7 is now also the biggest Windows version share with 52%, Windows XP is down to 36% which probably also helps explain our high .NET 4 version numbers. With Win7, 64 bit has now also become more mainstream. It’s now up to 29% from 10% back in January.
Hopefully others will benefit from these numbers and be able to make much more educated decisions about what versions of .NET to target.