Effieciency in design

Bob Baily of Human Factors International looks at stats (using The Counter) to suggest platform/ browser/resolution/colors to design for. This is sure to meet with some disagreement from designers and usability folks alike

    ... unless there is a very good reason to do so, do not waste time designing for and conducting usability tests on: - The Macintosh, WebTV, Linux, Unix operating systems, or any Windows operating system prior to Win 95, - Any browser except recent versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape, - Monitors that have resolutions less than 640x480 or greater than 1280x1024, and - Monitors having less than 8-bit color. ... As designers, we must learn to systematically give up trying to accommodate users who insist on using many of the little used and older technologies. The resources used to deal with these technologies can be much better used in creating solutions for newer devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, etc. Our design time is finite and limited, and we cannot design for all possible users! Good designers make good decisions about what not to do.
No doubt, the relevance of the stats on The Counter depends on your particular audience. In my work environment (which has a large R component) Sun, Linux, Mac, Opera, Early Netscapes and Lynx are all used and we are required to make data accessible to all users. It is possible, however, to make your data accessible to the lowest common denominator without sacrificing the user experience.