Nowadays many software testing companies organize their web site testing activities using a listing of platforms and browsers specifying some amount of time for finding and fixing bugs. Such system allows the software testing company to provide information concerning the whole process of web site testing, about the best ways of the site usage for the customers or to tell them where the site may not be supported.
The most popular platform is Windows with its different releases – Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Me, Windows 2000 (Personal and Server), and Windows XP. But a software testing company should also consider a variety of service packs and international or localized versions that may affect the behavior of the web site. But besides Windows, there are also Macintosh, Unix, Linux etc.
So a software testing company should choose a combination of platforms and browsers for web site testing or application testing. On one hand there may be a request that only Windows clients or only Macintosh clients have to be supported. But on the other hand there are companies performing research work to identify the percentage of platform and browser usage. Then any software testing company may buy these data and use them in their web site testing or application testing activities.
When the most popular software platforms are identified, a software testing company has to select the most important ones for web site testing. Different versions of the platform usually don’t have to be checked unless drastic changes have been made. If a software testing company still decides to perform web site testing or application testing on different platform versions, a tester shouldn’t perform a full test coverage on every platform version.
Spot checks would be enough. Moreover a software testing company should define the browsers to be tested and the combination of platforms and browsers.