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Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are gaining on IE

According to a new research paper published by Forrester, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and 7 is still in heavy use in the enterprise environment. However, the report shows that Mozilla Firefox is steadily gaining in browser market share. Firefox was called the most risky business app in a Bit9 study last year.

Forrester reports that both Google Chrome and Apple Safari are seeing increased adoption with enterprise users as well. The reason for the increased adoption according to the research paper is that business users are relying "more heavily on the Internet and Web-based tools to perform their functions" writes paper author Sheri McLeish.

McLeish wrote, "As more and more companies look to SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions and the Web delivers richer media, firms need to rethink their browser choices in concert with the Web-based apps they deploy. Information and knowledge management (I&KM) pros must start to leverage today’s browser innovations like faster processing, tabs, and new search features to improve information worker productivity."

The survey conducted by Forrester polled a pool of 51,913 enterprise-client users and was conducted in the first half of 2008. The study showed that IE6 was the dominant browser for enterprise users on a month-by-month basis for the entire year with a market share of 66.6% in July 2008 dropping to 60.2% in December 2008.

For the same period, IE7 gained market share moving from 33.4% to 39% giving Microsoft browsers a total of 81.3% of the enterprise browser market. Firefox made gains as well with its share going from 16.9% in July to 18.2% in December. Google Chrome went from 1.6% in September to 2% in December while Apple Safari went the same period with 1.4% of the market.

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By sapiens74 on 4/30/2009 2:21:43 PM , Rating: 5
We are still on IE 6 though, slowly moving to 8

By bubbastrangelove on 4/30/2009 2:31:25 PM , Rating: 3
I just looked it up here, we're still on IE6 as well.

Cutting edge all the way!!!

By Master Kenobi on 4/30/2009 2:34:31 PM , Rating: 3
IE is the browser of choice in the enterprise. It works with the apps, it works with .NET Framework ASPX pages, and it can be managed extremely tightly with GPO. Firefox/Chrome/Opera just don't have the manageability that IE does in a domain based environment.

By jonmcc33 on 5/1/2009 8:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the Office suite and Sharepoint, as well as any other AD integrated web apps.

By Master Kenobi on 4/30/2009 2:35:51 PM , Rating: 3
2) Most businesses have a MS-first policy

Most businesses have a manageability first policy, and that generally means Microsoft.

By Souka on 4/30/2009 4:39:01 PM , Rating: 4
not to mention compatibility...

Opera and Chrome...too many sites have issues and sharepoint (very common in corporate enviro.) blows.

Firefox? Well... it's great..but still not a choice by any IT dept. that controls their environment to reduce costs (aka, support).

With that said... I recently worked at a compnay that had nothing but IE 6/7/8 issues with a Oracle web based interface for their financial users.... Fix was to push Firefox to a lot of people for Oracle use... heh $.02

By Souka on 4/30/2009 4:39:02 PM , Rating: 1
not to mention compatibility...

Opera and Chrome...too many sites have issues and sharepoint (very common in corporate enviro.) blows.

Firefox? Well... it's great..but still not a choice by any IT dept. that controls their environment to reduce costs (aka, support).

With that said... I recently worked at a compnay that had nothing but IE 6/7/8 issues with a Oracle web based interface for their financial users.... Fix was to push Firefox to a lot of people for Oracle use... heh $.02

By therealnickdanger on 4/30/2009 2:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
Savvy users with control generally use anything but IE, unless they need to update Windows.

I dare you to quantify that with hard evidence. I know a great many "savvy" users that would disagree with you. People I know that use "alternative" browsers do so because they "heard" it was better but they can't actually describe how.

I chalk it up to FUD regarding IE from hyper-active FF prophets of doom. You know who you are.

By sprockkets on 4/30/2009 3:39:40 PM , Rating: 5
Apparently reminding everyone why we went to FF in the first place offends people.

By arazok on 4/30/2009 4:41:10 PM , Rating: 3
where were you when everyone hated win98 and IE's issues back in the days of 2001

Where are you now? Your arguments, like your Alias, are no longer relevant.

By sprockkets on 4/30/2009 4:41:57 PM , Rating: 1
And, guess what? I stated that in my original post, if you could actually bother to read it.

By Master Kenobi on 4/30/2009 7:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
Repairing IE is a simple process.

Copy i386 to your image (If you aren't doing this your a tool). Open a command prompt.

>Expand ie.in_ ie.inf
>Browse to ie.inf
>Right-Click -> Install
>Point to i386 directory
Watch it install, takes 20 seconds.

Alternatively, just need an XP CD or a copy of i386 on the LAN, Right-Click on the ie.inf file and point to that directory. Bam, 20 second install.

Seriously, if you worked in IT that long and never figured that one out I have to seriously question if you were ever any good at it.

If you want to get super fancy, you can do it via a vbscript and call the rundll32 routine.

By sprockkets on 4/30/2009 9:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, I could only do the repair via remote means, w/o a disc and via users.

However, does your method remove any addons in IE via this method?

By Master Kenobi on 5/1/2009 6:32:39 AM , Rating: 1
The addons themselves still exist, however they are no longer plugged into IE.

With IE 7 and 8, a Safe-Mode was added negating the need to use this method to remove problems with addons.

By JAB on 5/1/2009 10:33:20 AM , Rating: 2

So easy it only takes 29 steps to fix! Windows the master of simplicity.

IE and MS are favored by business because it is designed with IT in mind other apps are gaining ground because it puts the users first. Sadly certain people have forgotten what it is like to be a user that is at the mercy of a broken system that could be fixed with ease but wont be any time soon to save IT from thinking.

By Kenenniah on 5/1/2009 10:50:01 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly certain users have forgotten that IT has to deal with management that sometimes won't allow us to do things the right way. The IT deparment is easy to blame, but it isn't always our fault. Countless times we've been overruled by executives with limited technical knowledge. Of course on the other side, I have seen plenty of IT people that give us all a bad name.

By xti on 4/30/2009 3:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
hope you realize 'we' isnt going to be more than a minority percentage of users.

By sprockkets on 4/30/2009 4:48:21 PM , Rating: 3
Want more reasons? People forgot that IE didn't have a pop up blocker when the old Firebird did. IE didn't have tabs, while Firebird took it from Opera and made it accessible in a free browser.

You really, really forgot how bad IE was, didn't you? You take for granted many features now ubiquitous to browsers that the Mozilla team pushed forward.

By therealnickdanger on 5/1/2009 8:49:17 AM , Rating: 2
So there, I called your bluff.

Not really. You essentially stated that "more savvy users use FF" and I asked you to quantify that with hard evidence. But instead you cited example problems with IE from 10 years ago which, incidently, I have no recollection of ever personally experiencing.

I've seen IE crash in the past. I've also seen Netscape, FF, Opera, and Safari crash. So what? All apps crash and browser preference is mostly subjective. You can run benchmarks on compliance or speed, but it's just common sense that most folks probably don't care about any of that. IMO, there's no reason to push alternative browsers on people when they are content with their stock browser.

By Etsp on 4/30/2009 3:51:18 PM , Rating: 3
Some of the loudest proponents of Firefox are the web developers themselves. They hate needing to code a page for IE, and then code that same page again for everyone else.

This is why IE 7, and then IE 8 are so much more standards compliant...widespread developer support for the competition.

IE 7 still isn't great, but IE 8 is another improvement on standards compliance.

By TomZ on 4/30/2009 4:26:00 PM , Rating: 5
1. I still can't understand why people are so passionate about browsers. Caring about the browser is like going to an art museum and focusing on the frames around the paintings. Modern browsers are all about the same, and I can't even justify the small effort required to download, install, and maintain one browser, let alone multiple browsers.

2. If you are having such a struggle getting used to the Office 2007 user interface, then you really do have a problem. Sure, commands are in different places than the previous version - but that is because they are MORE ORGANIZED NOW. I'm no genius, but it really only took a few hours to get mostly familiar, and maybe a few days to get really familiar with the new interface. Now I am able to work much quicker because commands are quicker and easier to locate and use. It's not rocket science.

By Belard on 4/30/2009 4:20:59 PM , Rating: 3

I love using Opera, I only use IE for doing updates with Microsoft or those 1-2 sites that force the use of IE.

Opera is easier to use, more customizable, better features, better use of space. IE 7+ suck in function. Address bar at the top? Menubar in the middle is pretty damn stupid.

Opera isn't perfect... but I couldn't get into FireFox, even thou FF3 is very good, I still prefer Opera 9. Opera has had functions for almost 10 years that IE only recently added... but oh well.

Unless you work for MS, what does it matter? I do recommend Opera over IE and some people do change over.

By ZachDontScare on 4/30/2009 2:53:46 PM , Rating: 3
1) Most home users don't know that they should switch, or can switch

I hear this claim all the time, but I'd like to see something back that up. Given that FF has 25% or so of the market share, its pretty obvious most home users do know they can switch. What many FF promoters dont understand is that most people just dont have a reason to want to switch to FF, since IE7/8 does what they need. Its just not a religion for most people. Most home users arent starting off with an anti-MS bias.

By majorpain on 4/30/2009 4:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
Its not that hard to check how many pcs are sold with OEM M$ Windows and how many with other alternative OS that mostly go with FF to see that, YES, it does in fact the diference between a home user that uses IE instead every other available. It comes out-of-the-box, ready to use and surf.
I cant really use any version of IE available because plugins make the diference for me. But everyone is free to choose... unless you buy a PC with it already...its so much easier.

By mindless1 on 4/30/2009 10:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just that they don't have a reason to switch, it's that MS does it for them.

Average person with XP ran IE6. They had no reason to switch THAT, but with windows updates on by default that pushed IE7 to them and whatever they had as their browser was replaced by IE7.

You don't have to start out with an anti-MS bias to prefer picking your own application software. Remember, a browser never should have been part of an OS, it should be picked based upon what it does properly and in that case IE6 was so bad that nobody should've kept using it, instead moving to firefox or another and then having no reason to switch back to IE.

By TomZ on 4/30/2009 11:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
with windows updates on by default that pushed IE7 to them and whatever they had as their browser was replaced by IE7.
Oh, really? So if I had Firefox installed, IE7 being pushed would uninstall that? Nice try...
Remember, a browser never should have been part of an OS
I can think of at least two reasons why that statement is wrong:

1. Most users need a browser, and if there is one installed with the OS, then it saves time and effort.

2. For developers, it is convenient if the OS includes an HTML rendering component. Having IE available serves that purpose nicely.

By mindless1 on 5/2/2009 1:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
Not uninstall, unDEFAULT. Do you not recall a very recent Dailtech article about this very thing with IE?

Just because most users need a browser does not mean it needs to be integral. Integral != included. Calculator is included but not integral for example.

Developers can expect anyone to have a HTML rendering engine if they want to see HTML rendered. IE can serve the purpose of course, but does not need to be an integral part of the OS to do so.

You're shilling again, arguing things that have nothing to do with reality. I am not one of those who argues Windows should not have a browser on the installation disc, nor even that it shouldn't be installed with a default windows installation. It's the anti-competitive actions and vulnerability of the OS due to it's integration in shared code that is the problem.

Firefox is a great example. Install it if you like, remove it if you like. IE should be the same. A person uses a PC for all this convenience and it's a lot of effort to click on a setup file? That's stretching things a wee bit far if we simultaneously want to blame users for not knowing how to secure, manage, and do other things on a PC. We can assume that at some point they can read, and have at least some method of causing a mouse click.

By afkrotch on 4/30/2009 2:56:24 PM , Rating: 3
I use IE8 myself. Tried the others, just prefer IE8. I don't get compatibility issues with websites, I don't use plugins, and I can take care of my own computer. Not much need for me to swap.

By stromgald30 on 4/30/2009 3:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
1) Most home users don't know that they should switch, or can switch
2) Most businesses have a MS-first policy

1) I'd say most home users know of firefox, but they don't switch to it because they're not all tech savvy. Firefox is very customizable and good if you know which add-ons are right for you. IE7, despite the crappy interface is good for the majority of the population, which use their internet connection for news, e-mail and basic stuff. This is also the reason why Hotmail is still very popular despite the fact that gmail is more "efficient" and "better".

2)Most businesses stick with what works. Firefox opens up extra risk and less control.

By PorreKaj on 5/2/2009 3:01:55 AM , Rating: 1
IE6 all the way, on work here too.

However we do have released IE7 to our users as a choice if they wan't it.

Personal ( or IT dept. in general ) we use our own personal prefrences in browsers... but imagine all users have a "shitload" of different browsers..... NO thanks

This Pro MS vibe is amusing
By Ozziedogg on 4/30/2009 7:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well I could have posted this in any number of threads, but its getting too amusing to remain silent. This ferocious Pro Microsoft tone and automatic downrating of any views to the contrary is becoming increasing bizarre. I mean, are people going to honestly argue that IE didnt take years to catch up with tabbed browsing? that IE didnt cause web coders headaches with its own proprietory crap? that once MS took netscape out of the equation it basically let IE rot until opera,FF and the other players entered the game?

I mean, I'm all for an objective opinion and no doubt MS have been the software company most responsible for the health of the PC economy worldwide. But its getting to the point where I'm starting to suspect that this site has been deliberatly infiltrated by MS employees or something.

Seriously guys, the more this crap happens the less right you have to criticise someone like Pirks.

RE: This Pro MS vibe is amusing
By rs1 on 4/30/2009 8:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind about MS. I'm just please to see that Chrome already has a larger market-share than Safari. Take that Apple, your web-browser sucks!

RE: This Pro MS vibe is amusing
By mindless1 on 4/30/2009 10:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Guerrilla marketers or shills are more likely the problem, but yes this site has a disproportionate number of MS supporters for whatever their reason, not just including non-tech sites but the tech sites as well.

RE: This Pro MS vibe is amusing
By TomZ on 4/30/2009 11:06:45 PM , Rating: 4
...probably for the same reason that Microsoft has a 90% marketshare in desktop operating systems. Did it ever occur to you that some people actually like some of the products that Microsoft puts out?

RE: This Pro MS vibe is amusing
By afkrotch on 5/1/2009 9:40:42 AM , Rating: 2
I like Windows, I like IE, and I like MS mice. Aside from that, I want the PS3 to rape the 360. I'm getting sick of having to get a new OS to get the next DirectX. Just put DX10 on WinXP. I don't want Vista or Win7. I don't care about Office or well...anything else MS puts out. They use to have good games, but they bought those and turned them into crap. I don't like/dislike Halo, but Bungie seperated anyways. Gears of War sucks.

Anyways, I still like IE8.

RE: This Pro MS vibe is amusing
By mindless1 on 5/2/2009 1:02:36 AM , Rating: 2
You completely missed the point. 90% of posts aren't in favor of MS, it's only on THIS 'site. Unnatural bias even among techies.

mix of both
By theangryintern on 4/30/2009 6:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
we've got both IE7 and Firefox installed for our users. We had a couple web apps that didn't work with IE7 but worked fine in Firefox, so we got users to start using it. I think most of the web apps now work with IE7, but I've seen the majority of our users still sticking with firefox.

RE: mix of both
By Master Kenobi on 4/30/2009 8:05:27 PM , Rating: 3
How do you guys handle patch and addon remediation for your clients with regards to updates and vulnerability remediation? I'm specifically talking about firefox.

RE: mix of both
By Varun on 5/1/2009 1:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously they do not care about patching.

RE: mix of both
By Master Kenobi on 5/2/2009 10:55:52 AM , Rating: 2
Guess not. =/

Chome...nothing else
By Dreadfrost on 4/30/2009 9:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
Go to questions asked.

RE: Chome...nothing else
By Varun on 4/30/2009 9:52:48 PM , Rating: 3
Except how do I manage it as a LAN admin?

I am a LAN admin, and I can't imagine using anything but IE. Group Policy is the way to go, so people who think they know everything about computers don't come along and destroy your corporate apps.

People - this article is about enterprise customers, not Joe the Plumber

RE: Chome...nothing else
By Master Kenobi on 5/1/2009 6:41:22 AM , Rating: 1
These guys like to pretend that the enterprise environment is nothing more than a larger version of the home environment. It's a classic problem that can only be overcome by throwing them into such an environment and letting them sink or swim. A few years dealing with all the problems users cause tends to convert many diehards to solutions that are easy to manage remotely.

RE: Chome...nothing else
By mechBgon on 5/1/2009 11:34:22 AM , Rating: 3
Aside from the all-important central manageability, deployability, enforcability and audiability features of IE, there's also a guaranteed support lifecycle. I saw some IT folks commenting on the issue at Jeff Jones' blog; here's a telling remark:

I despise when an open source product like Firefox just tells you "we're no longer supporting that version anymore, you better upgrade or you're boned" after the that version has been out only a year.

When you complain you get responses akin to "it's open source, you should be lucky you're getting anything".

This is the difference between a browser like Internet Explorer and its open source alternative. The open source community can choose to abandon their users whenever they feel like it and be indignant when you try to communicate that it will take time to test your applications and migrate your users to the new version, whereas Microsoft has to continue to support over 4 (IE 5.01 w/W2000SP4, 6 - various OSes, 7 - various OSes and now 8 - various OSes) previous versions of Internet Explorer in addition to trying to develop a new one.

Mozilla and the other wannabes are still not ready to play ball in the enterprise realm, due to lack of central manageability, and inadequate support lifecycles. Maybe someday they'll get it. Maybe someday the popular media will get it too... the enterprise realm is not like your home network.

Enterprise enviornment
By snikt on 4/30/2009 6:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
Some posters are forgetting that the article is stating that IE dominates the enterprise enviornment. There are just some things you can do with IE that you can not do to FF, Opera, or Chrome in a corporate enviornment. With a GPO you can lock down IE so that all it does is allow viewing Web pages and thats it. If need be with a GPO you can force IE to view only one particular web page or no web page. You can make IE completely inaccessible to all but Local Admin. With a GPO you can customize and secure IE to no end from a centralized point AND undo any customizations as well from a centralized point.

RE: Enterprise enviornment
By rippleyaliens on 4/30/2009 10:12:37 PM , Rating: 3
IE in enterprise= IT WORKS..
In our environment, it is soooo locked down, that it doesnt fail.
We tried Firefox, in which works, very well, the ability to lock it down, just doesnt work. ROAMING around, which is very common in a microsoft network, DOES not work easily.
WITH IE, in our environment, a user can log into any computer, citrix connection, whatever, and have all IE fav's, cookies, history, certificates, that are to that specific user.. WHEN firefox can do this simple thing, then the enterprise might take some look at it, but until then, NO!!!!

out of date already
By Screwballl on 4/30/2009 10:45:05 PM , Rating: 1
...the first half of 2008.

Here it is a year later and this is just now making the news?

How about recent statistics:

March 2009 global usage of OS and browser, includes personal and business use:

2009 WinXP W2000 Vista W2003 Linux Mac
March 68.9% 1.3% 17.3% 1.7% 4.0% 5.9%

2009 ...IE7 ....IE6 ....IE8 ....FF Chrome Safari Opera
March 24.9% 17.0% 1.4% 46.5% 4.2% 3.1% 2.3%

RE: out of date already
By afkrotch on 5/1/2009 9:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
46.5% for FF. WTF. Think your numbers are a little messed up there.

RE: out of date already
By foolsgambit11 on 5/1/2009 3:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
not to mention that his numbers aren't enterprise specific, and therefore pretty irrelevant in this conversation.

But I am a bit confused by the article's numbers. They seem to add up to more than 100%. I assume this is because more than one browser is installed on many computers. I am surprised that nearly 20% of enterprise computers have both IE6 and IE7 installed. (60.2% + 39% = 99.2%, but only 81.3% of computers use IE...)

Mark of the beast
By tfk11 on 5/1/2009 11:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
The study showed that IE6 was the dominant browser for enterprise users on a month-by-month basis for the entire year with a market share of 66.6%

Yet another indication that IE6 is pure evil.

RE: Mark of the beast
By Ozziedogg on 5/1/2009 5:20:43 PM , Rating: 2

rate this a six!

Actually, it all makes sense now. Ballmer wasnt having a caffeeine rush when he did his bizarre monkey dance, he was merely possessed.

"It was reported that if you listen to an XP disk backwards you will hear satanic messages. Thats nothing: if you play it forwards it installs Windows."

By killerb255 on 5/1/2009 1:39:31 PM , Rating: 3
...and then we'll talk about Firefox/Opera/Chrome in the enterprise.

Until that happens, enterprises will stick with IE, despite its flaws...

yeah this is silly
By yacoub on 4/30/2009 2:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it's tops - most all corporate desktop images of Windows come with IE installed and many companies prevent the user from installing other software. A total un-story.

Mmm Firefox girl
By Azsen on 5/1/2009 6:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, wait a minute . . .
By blueboy09 on 5/3/2009 2:28:26 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just me but did Shane mention anything about Opera's share in the web browser pie? Can't be that bad, could it? BTW, I hope that Firefox kicks Safari's ass! Let the race begin!! - BLUEBOY

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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