Internet Explorer, when it came on the scene, started calling bookmarks (lingua netscapa) as Favorites (without the U). It also got web developers wrap a 16×16 image named favicon in a proprietary image format called ICO. You had put the icon in the root folder. Screwed if your pages were hosted on a directory on a free site such as Geocities or Tripod. When you added a new “favorite”, this icon was retrieved from the website’s root directory and added as the icon for the favourite’s menu option. Later, other browsers started supporting it. Then, there was a link tag and you had more freedom where you kept the icon or what format it was in. Well, that was all in the bad old 90s, right? Last century.
We are now living in a different world. Several mobile phones in the market have 8 cores when most desktops are lucky to have 4 cores or more. It is time to increase the size of the favicon. Some already have but most are still sticking to their 16x16s. How many people are still on IE 5.5, the last great IE version.
Look at the popular developer site, StackOverFlow.com. Its favicon is still at 16×16. Backward compatibility is important but this is ridiculous.