Is 800 X 600 really dead?

When a blog (Daily Blog Tips) that has an Alexa rating in the 15,000 range tells you that the 800 X 600 screen display setting is dying, I have to take notice.

It’s times like these that I feel like a REAL dinosaur as I reflect back on the days when 800 was "wide screen"…. and now those 800 pixel wide displays have grown into 1024 x 768.  Sniff!!!  Get out the photo album Pa and we’ll remember the old Compaq computer with it’s 1 gig hard drive that we were SURE would last forever! 

OK, nostalgia rantings aside…. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has a poll on his zdnet blog on screen resolutions where he asks what your screen resolution is.  I went to vote and realized… I don’t even KNOW what my current settings are for this computer. 

I’m running Windows XP so I begin by Start > Control Panel> Display >Settings.  Ah, there…. 1440 X 900

Out of 581 votes on his blog, 6% are running 1440X900.  1 out of three visitors is using display settings of 1280×1024.

Ah, but here’s the rub…. Adrian’s blog is targeted towards web savvy users.  Hardware 2.0 readers are probably VERY different than readers for other blogs.

Is 800X600 "dead"…. well, maybe in some circles.  One of my clients just laid to rest three Windows 98 machines in her office.  Until last week, she was DEFINITELY running a business where 800X600 was the rule of thumb. 

Again, it boils down to YOUR audience.  Is your audience the tech savvy kind…. then by all means, assume the 800X600 screen resolution is dead for them.  However,  recognize that 4% of Adrian’s tech savvy audience is still using that screen resolution. 

More than one of my clients are targeting less than tech savvy audiences and while I feel it’s safe to assume the 640×480 users are used to side scrolling, for now I’m just not comfortable assuming the 800X600 is dead and gone.  Besides… what’s the harm in targeting the lowest common denominator?