Its interesting to see how screen resolutions have changed over time.
The following are pie-graphs of the screen resolutions, of visitors to computer-aid.com.au, during november, for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
The most obvious change over the last 4 years, has been the decrease of 1024×768 from about 47% to 23.5%
1280×1024 has decreased from 22% to 15%
The rapidly fading 800×600 has gone from 8% to 1.5%
In contrast, 1280×800 has increased from 6% in 2006, up to 18% in 2009
Also, 1440×900 has gone from 2% to 11%
So what does this all mean?
Well, if you design websites, you need to be increasingly aware of what a website might look like when viewed at different resolutions.
Just 4 years ago, catering for top 2 resolutions of 1024×768 and 1280×1024 covered 68% of viewers
But now, the top 2 resolutions (1024×768 and 1280×800) only covers 41% of viewers.
Its obvious, that with the increasing popularity of LCD monitors and laptops, has resulted in a much greater variety of screen resolutions.
Its also obvious that wide-screen resolutions are on the increase (but is this due to true consumer demand? Or is it a case of LCD makers catering to a small group of people who want to view wide-screen movies?).
Whats amazing, is that 1024×768 and 1280×1024 are still very popular for a 4:3 format.
Since most monitors are now widescreen LCDs, how can we have so many 4:3 format screen resolutions?
The answer is simple, as I see it happen very often: people will buy widescreen monitors/laptops, but to make the words “visible”, they usually lower the screen resolution to 1024×768, even though this results in a screen with objects that have a slight horizontal stretch.
This seems to show that, for most people, making screen fonts readable is more important than keeping screen objects in correct proportion.
Given that Vista and W7 still have an inconsistent approach to screen font sizes, I’d say that the 4:3 format will continue for quite a while yet, despite the increased number of widescreen monitors.