Browser Wars in the Workplace

What’s your corporate browser of choice? Chances are that despite the relative success of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, you’re using some iteration of Microsoft Internet Explorer. So prevalent is IE that even its newest version, IE8, has already achieved 28 percent market share among Windows users. That’s not bad considering how slow and/or reluctant some people are to upgrade.

In an InformationWeek analysis, Dave Methvin notes that Google Chrome has managed to earn a 5.2 percent market share in just a few months of official release. And yet, "Despite that growth, I wonder if Chrome will ever be a viable option for corporate businesses," he says.

Why?

It is (tough) to see how Chrome will take a significantly larger share of desktop OS browser usage. That’s especially true for businesses that need to see some significant benefit for switching off the ‘safe’ choice of Internet Explorer.

It’s a classic conundrum. IBM long held its PC market share because, as the saying went, "Nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM." In other words, there’s that universal attitude of "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" that can keep superior alternatives out of the hands of users who might actually benefit from new and better features.

Of course, Google is in a position to push as long and as hard as it needs to get more share for Chrome. How brave is your IT department? Do you have the nerve – and the freedom – to change browsers?

— Don Willmott

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