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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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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.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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