Browser

Poll: What is the officially supported browser in your organization?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll question of the week: What is the officially supported browser in your organization?

At the consumer level, there are the browser wars, which seem to ebb and flow between the major contenders almost month to month. Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, and others lose and gain market share in a continuous tug of war. However, for many large organizations and corporations, the officially supported browser of choice is bogged down with inertia.

The officially supported internal web browser for workstations at CBS Interactive is, and it embarrasses me to say it, Internet Explorer 6. Of course, users have long ago abandoned the official web browser in favor of Internet Explorer 8, Firefox, Chrome, or other modern web browser. It doesn't matter that the help desk does not support the newer browsers -- the better security, better experience of a modern browser trumps the need for support. Firefox has become the unofficial browser chosen by users.

Stay on top of the latest Microsoft Windows tips and tricks with TechRepublic's Windows Desktop newsletter, delivered every Monday and Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

For many reasons, Microsoft is very interested in getting companies and users to migrate away from Internet Explorer 6, and recent data shows that the inertia that prevented that migration is receding. As of November 2010, Internet Explorer 6's share of commercial use is at an all-time low of 10.3%. I would expect that trend to continue, and perhaps CBS Interactive will join in the migration to a modern browser in the near future.

But what is the policy at your company? What is the officially supported browser at your organization? Has the company changed with the times or is there too much inertia? What hurdles prevent the adoption of a more modern web browser? Is it even necessary for a company to have an official browser? Have users chosen their own "official" browser?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

27 comments
TBBrick
TBBrick

As much as I can't stand the adverts/spyware et al, there are some sites that just won't run without Idiot's Excrement.

r_j_jacobsen
r_j_jacobsen

Moved to FireFox, but many internal apps don't run on it. The CIO's office obviously didn't do much testing before making the decision. IE6 is the allowed alternative when FF can't run the web app.

howard_davis
howard_davis

IE 8, only because our internet filter only supports auto-login through IE (for Firefox you have to run a script, and I have just not taken the time to do). Plenty of teachers use FF, but they know they have to manually log in to the filter every 4 hours, or every time after they log off the computer.

Regulus
Regulus

This might be the 'official' browsers, but running analytics on my website, I get hits from Chrome = 42%, IE = 32% & FF = 21%. Your mileage may vary....

Slayer_
Slayer_

Though most of us have installed alternate browsers. I upgraded to IE7 for the PNG support but primarily use Orca. My boss uses Opera, supervisor uses Firefox 2. WE have no one on IE8. Most on 6 or 7.

flotsam70
flotsam70

Not sure that you can have _one_ officially supported browser in 2010. While I would like to push all our users to Firefox and/or Chrome, there are "a few" sites/web apps that work well only in IE. I've also run into a few cases where a site/form doesn't work in IE but does work in Firefox. A German embassy form to request a visa comes to mind.

PINASCOPY
PINASCOPY

gpo is very easy to set in ie, otherwise i use firefox

howard_davis
howard_davis

we are a school and need an easy way to change things constantly, along with keep our filter running easily (1st graders don't always understand the log in process well). GPO is just the quickest way to update things.

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

unfortunately, there are many bad web developers out there not adhering to standards. They either learn/use based on a Microsoft tool kit/framework and never really bother to know (or know exists) Web standards for HTML coding (W3C) or is the company they work for pushes a specific standard for the same reasons. if code by the standards then all browsers are suppose to function the same as for rendering a page correctly. However, too many times I have seen products that over utilize Microsoft custom extensions/API and other browsers not rendering the content correctly, sometimes a browser may have issues between versions but more often is the coding on the site. I for one refuse to do business with a bank that their website does not work but only with IE, on-line ordering, etc. If I open a web page and have issue with Firefox, I may try Opera, Chrome, safari, and then if only works best with IE, I will close the browser and never return. There are apps at my company that are commercial products that seem to only work correctly with IE, The company does not want to do anything but support IE, but I use Linux as a desktop so no IE. I usually flood the vendors support site about it, keep complaining to the Company about it and then just use that app :-) So as long as these issues exist with web development, then is going to be tough to get to a neutral playing field in order to determine what would be the best browser to use, Microsoft wins the war be default, may as well have a UNIX/Linux/MAC version of IE and be done with it.

howard_davis
howard_davis

calm down a little. yes, it is unbelievably frustrating when sites are only ie compatible (or at least best on ie). there are hundreds of reasons why this could be, and not always IT's problems (databases only run with IE, applications, etc). yes, they should figure out how to make compatible, but sometimes they don't have a choice/the time.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

> NoScript > AdBlock Plus > Flash Block > Better Privacy and IE is set to high security mode: - AKA "Strangled functionality, can't do much with it mode"

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But my laptop came with both IE7 and Firefox installed.

protogames
protogames

10% still support IE6? Nine years of managing support for IE6? That really upsets me. I need modern tools that help me do my job more accurately, that save me time and frustration. I need IT services that enable and support customers, not policies. I too have to bend the rules on official support in order to do my job at required level of competency. It's clear to me that change-resistant policy is not best serving customers. It's an IT-centric world where customers are here to serve policy. I'm glad I don't have to work at stonehenge, the holes in the walls would be drafty.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

10% or so (depending on additional voting) still have IE 6 as the official browser. Don't forget those of us who have other browsers as the official standard but haven't fully replaced 6 yet.

MyopicOne
MyopicOne

Most trailing-edge industry in the world. Has a lot to do with Regulatory issues - the companies are required to test and certify that the apps they use work correctly within their proposed operating environment, and strong change control is in place, so that upgrades to validated systems/desktops/laptops etc are downright painful sometimes. Yes, we're on IE 6. Because one of our Quality department apps in its current version is only certified on 6 and since its a corporate "standard" app and they don't have the budget or time to upgrade, the rest of us are on 6, too. Sucks bigtime...

cbader
cbader

We are rolling out Windows 7 which comes with IE8 and thats all we give people. But users are free to use whatever browser they choose so we have pretty much all of the major browsers installed here.

mischief007
mischief007

IE 8 mainly but us IT guys can use whatever we want. I use a mixture of Chrome/Firefox/IE 8, depending on what I need to access.

Justin James
Justin James

We made the mistake of installing Microsoft CRM. It ONLY works in IE8. As a result, that's what our standard is. Other than MS CRM, we have no reason to be on IE. Not that I dislike IE per se, and I'd rather have only 1 browser to support, but it would be nice to have options. J.Ja

cperry
cperry

I think IE 8 is adequate for most of my clients but I also support Firefox as it's the browser I use personally. Most of it depends on the system as I can control IE 8 much more easily through Group Policy settings. If it's a kiosk type situation, I stick with IE 8. For general use, both are fine. On a side note, I don't support IE 6 at all unless an application absolutely requires it and there is no acceptable workaround. Since I do some web development on the side I know the frustrations of IE 6 and am doing my part to make it obsolete.

fabiogil
fabiogil

IE7, a lot users are still using IE6. Internally we use Sharepoint and it won't work in any other browser properly.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That doesn't mean we have it fully deployed. We're still running IE 6 on about half our systems.

howard_davis
howard_davis

ugh, that is kind of scary to have IE 6 still running. my wife's company still has IE 6, and it is driving her nuts. lots of sites are not even supporting 6 now.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The majority of systems we have still running IE 6 are on the factory floor. The accounts on these systems have no Internet access and are limited to our intranet.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What is the officially supported browser at your organization? Has the company changed with the times or is there too much inertia? What hurdles prevent the adoption of a more modern web browser? Is it even necessary for a company to have an official browser? Have users chosen their own "official" browser?

Iroc_n_roll
Iroc_n_roll

Being a small shop, we really don't have an official browser. I'm personally running FF as primary and IE7 for when I HAVE to use it. When I set up a new pc, or refurbish an older pc, I set them up with the latest FF and IE7. But we still have a small number of pcs that are running IE6, and some with IE8, but they all also have FF (just maybe not the latest). Other than that, if somebody has a legitimate need (ie one that is worth my time to install) for another browser, it will be installed for them. Most of our PCs are running XP, and a couple are even running 2K.

robo_dev
robo_dev

officially supported browser at your organization? >> IE7 Has the company changed with the times or is there too much inertia? >> Too much intertia What hurdles prevent the adoption of a more modern web browser? >> Potential support costs, lack of clear cost-benefit for change. Is it even necessary for a company to have an official browser? >>Strict software standards are a requirement for large enterprises, but may be optional for small organizations. Have users chosen their own "official" browser? >> Nope, not if they like their job Any large enterprise typically has strict software standards, and, of course IE comes bundled with the OS. So even if Firefox is better, there is typically not a compelling reason to switch to anything different. There is the support cost/hassle of having multiple browsers. Probably not a big deal in a smaller company, but this could be a very big deal in a large enterprise. More importantly, if there are mission-critical web applications, it may be unreasonable to expect that all applications work perfectly on all browsers. In my environment IE7 is the standard, but I have special permission to use Firefox for the web application development and security testing add-ons that do not exist for IE.

Editor's Picks