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.
quote: 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.