Forrester: Internet Explorer still top browser in the workplace

Net Applications claims that, worldwide, Microsoft's various versions of Internet Explorer are the most used among PC owners, StatCounter begs to differ, claiming that its date shows Google's Chrome as the number one PC browser.

Both Net Applications and StatCounter look at the big picture in terms of recording browser use, but what about looking at the numbers just from the workplace? VentureBeat.com reports that, according to a new Forrester report, IE still dominates over both Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox.

Based on a survey of 7,295 IT workers, the firm said that IE has a market share of 40.2 percent in businesses, far more than Google's Chrome, which came in at 27.9 percent. Firefox was third with 25.4 percent and Apple's Safari web browser was a distant fourth with just 1.8 percent.

The same survey stated that Windows 7 is used by 47.5 percent of enterprise PC customers, but that Windows XP is second with 38.2 percent. Microsoft will officially cut off support for Windows XP less than a year from now and has been urging businesses who are still using Windows XP to upgrade their machines to Windows 7 or 8 before the deadline is reached.

Source: VentureBeat | Image via Forrester

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34 Comments

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Not really that surprising. IE has a long legacy in the enterprise, and if you don't make an active choice to move from it, you're going to be using IE. It'd only fall from the top if it was truly repulsive. As long as it's at least "OK", it'll be dominating.

At 40%, it's actually lower than I expected.

We need to use IE at work for 2 reasons. We use SharePoint 2007, and our Siebel CRM) Application only works in IE8. We do however package and deploy FireFox and Chrome but that's just for general browsing. For work related stuff it has to be IE.

Firefox is default and recommended at my workplace. Using IE versions older than version 9 is discouraged. If only IE could be uninstalled.

I use IE to access intranet based sites EG Exchange, Helpdesk, Timesheets etc.
For any browsing on the internet I use Chrome.

I've found a lot of people are actually unaware that other browsers exist let alone have the notion to download and use them.

It's rather sad as IE is generally the worst of the bunch.

AWKM said,
It's rather sad as IE is generally the worst of the bunch.

If you talk about the old versions you need for Siebel and other crappy LoB apps from vendors who refuse to get with the times, I'll agree with the statement.

Or is it the IT folks who hate W8 start screen so much that the best browser is out of reach for them........

deadonthefloor said,

If you talk about the old versions you need for Siebel and other crappy LoB apps from vendors who refuse to get with the times, I'll agree with the statement.

Or is it the IT folks who hate W8 start screen so much that the best browser is out of reach for them........

Don't get me wrong. I find IE9 and 10 perfectly acceptable at rendering pages correctly but the browser itself feels sluggish and slow compared to others.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
....

Incorrect.
Enterprise apps haven't 'disabled support' for other browsers.
What they did is adopt proprietary MS browser extensions and then refused to replace them with standards based HTML5 offered in all modern browsers.
Why re-invent the wheel if you have your customers stuck in vendor lock-in?

Only because it comes pre-installed on most Windows machines, and a lot of people don't have time, or permission from the company IT Dept., to start installing 3rd party software. I would be willing to bet that if Firefox, Opera, or Google Chrome came pre-installed instead of IE, that browser would then become "top in the workplace".

Gerowen said,
Only because it comes pre-installed on most Windows machines, and a lot of people don't have time, or permission from the company IT Dept., to start installing 3rd party software. I would be willing to bet that if Firefox, Opera, or Google Chrome came pre-installed instead of IE, that browser would then become "top in the workplace".

If any of these browser has 13 years of support from its editor (like IE6), maybe businesses would consider using them.

only Firefox has "long term" support of 2 or 3 years, which is still ridiculous compared to any version of IE that is guaranteed to be supported 10 years.

it's ****ing stupid to think that enterprises use IE just because it is included in windows, as if IT staff were too stupid to install anything else. Why do you think google was still using IE6 until 2010? Did their IT ignore what Google Chrome was?
truth is that no other browser is suitable to businesses that need a stable environment, knowing they will receive security updates without having to upgrade to a new browser version that may break some of their intranet sites every two months.

THolman said,
You know what's really stupid? Coding apps that only work with one browser, let alone one *VERSION* of that browser.

it's far from being as easy as saying it.

first, many intranet apps are very old and are never updated, especially when they are deployed to a customer's infrastructure and when he doesn't want to pay for updates of its ten years old web app that is still perfectly working with IE6.
in 2003, IE6 had a lot of features that other browser didn't have, like Ajax support, inline editing of html content. So obviously, these features that weren't part of html5 yet (because it didn't exist) weren't standardized, and so are likely not to work in a browser from 2013.

Another problem is that standards evolve. I've been confronted several times to web apps working with IE6/7 and Firefox 3.5, but no longer working properly with ie8/firefox3.6, because better standard support is sometimes breaking buggy behavior web apps depend on.

so you can't expect things to work forever on any browser or browser version. It's impossible to guarantee it on complex web apps.

I just wish IE had some... nicer offerings. It's a decent browser today, but I can't enjoy myself like I can with Firefox or Chrome.

Also, seeing as I've jumped to Firefox recently, the browser has gotten a lot nicer lately. Not sure what update it was, but the new Download Manager is pretty damn slick for those who haven't checked it out.

If it wasn't of my sync'd profile with Chrome across all my computers I would switch to IE10. Synchronized bookmarks/history are what keeps me with Chrome. (oh and I almost forgot about Adblock )

The company I work for (a major ISP in Canada) is still imposing us to use Windows XP and IE 6.0. A technology company using Windows XP + IE6, isn't it ironic?

myxomatosis said,
The company I work for (a major ISP in Canada) is still imposing us to use Windows XP and IE 6.0. A technology company using Windows XP + IE6, isn't it ironic?

well, google did that too, until 2010, despite the fact IE8 had been released a year earlier, and the fact google had released their own browser too.

by the way, there are still around 30% of all enterprises still running on xp/IE6.
And 20% of businesses will still be running XP after its end of support next year, according to MS' own projections.

myxomatosis said,
.....

Most likely due to your organizations dependence on Oracle and their POS products haven't been updated from the date Oracle acquired them.
I'm in the same boat in my employer, a 'minor Canadian ISP'.
I did however move from the Oracle life sucking draining position to one where I get to enjoy MS technologies daily.

If Firefox was manageable via GPOs in a supported manner, many corporations would switch in a heartbeat, including where I work.
However, this oft requested feature, as well as MSI installers, has been denied/on the back burner for so many years that IT admins won't even bother anymore.

Chrome comes in an MSI which has allowed me to install it on my Polytech computers.

But with IE9/10, I'm quite happy to not worried about installing another browser.

I ran into many applications that required IE. At the enterprise level sticking with IE is the safest bet IMO. IE10 is a breath of fresh air I can tell you that !

We just deployed IE10 on our terminal servers. Up to now only thing that doesn't work is Exchange Online's OWA. You can't drag and drop emails into folders. Kinda ironic since they are two microsoft product and OWA is hosted on Microsoft's servers.

I know, at my father's work, he's forced to use IE for some nonsense... but when he's doing research and other work he's using Firefox.

I think a lot of companies are in the same boat... their work depend on IE.

40% is shockingly low to me. I think "self-reported" is key here. I think IE is standard in far more than 40% but "self-reporting" IE users may very well be using their personal firefox or chrome.

MorganX said,
40% is shockingly low to me. I think "self-reported" is key here. I think IE is standard in far more than 40% but "self-reporting" IE users may very well be using their personal firefox or chrome.

the title of this article is misleading.

it's not about browser usage in the workplace, it's about usage by IT workers.

IT workers generally have the choice to install what they want on their machine.

however, non IT workers, who represent more than 95% of the employees in a typical enterprise don't have the choice to install what they want on their computer. So, IE market share for this population is much higher than 40%, although when an old version of IE is required for intranet apps (like IE6) another browser is often installed to allow browsing external websites.

that said, for intranet apps, 90% of the times IE is the browser of choice. Part of the remaining 10% is represented by Firefox. Firefox 3.6 seems still surprisingly popular despite the security risks (it is no longer supported and has a lot of unpatched flaws). Yet some IT workers seem to ignore that.

Exactly this. I manage around 700 users across 35 locations and they do not have a choice of which browser to use. No IT department wants to troubleshoot proxy settings, single sign-on and add-ons to upload files (expense reports), among other things, on 3 different browsers. Where I work only the Marketing department has access to all browsers for obvious reasons.

Still on IE6 at work. Took me half an hour to manage to sign in on Neowin. However I still can't comment on News Articles or forums.

McKay said,
Still on IE6 at work. Took me half an hour to manage to sign in on Neowin. However I still can't comment on News Articles or forums.

I duno whats going on, the past few days I can not comment or reply to posts in IE10... you click add comment and it just sits there, have to keep going to Chrome just to reply

neufuse said,

I duno whats going on, the past few days I can not comment or reply to posts in IE10... you click add comment and it just sits there, have to keep going to Chrome just to reply

For me that happens on chrome except when I refresh the page the comment is actually there.