The web browser is not only important at home or in school. For business, the browser is a key tool for accessing line of business apps, connecting with customers and partners, modernizing employee desktops, and enabling employees the flexibility to work from anywhere. Choosing the right browser is critical for organizations, and a choice that has far-reaching impact on organizational security, productivity and application development costs.
Today we are happy to share the findings of Forrester Consulting, who evaluated considerations that IT managers weigh when deciding on a browser and whether to support or allow the use of nonstandard browsers. Forrester’s Business Case for Standardizing on a Single Modern Browser in the Enterprise is now available and reveals business priorities that reaffirm Internet Explorer’s choice as a great browser for business.
Forrester found that ninety-six percent of firms today standardize on a single browser for company-issued PCs, as there are increased costs associated with supporting or allowing nonstandard browsers within the enterprise. For example, Forrester found that firms spend an extra $4,200 per web app annually to support multiple browsers. For a large corporation, that translates to almost $400,000 per year just for web apps. Any potential benefits were clearly outweighed by support, maintenance, and other costs – as most firms with multiple browsers experienced cost increases in excess of 20% overall. This is in line with conventional wisdom, which says to pick one browser but develop sites to common web standards.
Last year, we shared nine reasons why Internet Explorer 9 is the best browser for business customers. Forrester’s findings reinforce the need for organizations to standardize on a single browser. Here are ten reasons why we think Internet Explorer 10 should be that browser:
As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, Internet Explorer is built from the ground up to perform incredibly well on real-world web sites, not just micro-benchmarks. In September, for example, Strangeloop Networks found that “Internet Explorer 10 rendered pages faster than other browsers” for the top 2,000 Alexa retail websites. New Relic confirmed this in November, claiming that IE10 and IE9 had the “fastest browser response time on Windows.” User productivity is often cited as a reason to upgrade browsers, and results like these reinforce that we’re taking the right approach as we strive to build the fastest, most productive web browser available.
Internet Explorer 10 renders pages 8% faster than Chrome (Strangeloop Networks, Fall 2012)
2. Fluid. All graphics, video, and text in IE10 are hardware-accelerated, with app-like performance for web sites. The good news is that hardware acceleration is balanced with battery power, ensuring you can be productive for longer periods of time before having to recharge. Mobility and productivity go hand in hand.
3. Perfect for touch. Whether you are considering purchasing corporate tablets or simply supporting employees who bring their tablets to work, look no further than Internet Explorer 10. IE10 is perfect for touch, and handles simultaneous points of touch and gesture-based input for demanding web apps and games. Pinch-to-zoom just scratches the surface of what a real touch interface can do. Try the web-based Contre Jour for one example. Modern web apps will continue to push the boundaries of touch.
4. Easy, site-centric design. Internet Explorer 10 for the desktop builds on IE9’s streamlined user interface that puts the focus on websites and your web apps. The new Internet Explorer 10 interface for Windows 8 dedicates even more of the screen to your sites, with full-screen web and navigational controls that appear as needed. Full-screen web browsing means that employees can spend more time focused on web apps and sites, not screen clutter.
5. Windows integration. With IE10, your websites and web apps feel like native applications. IE10 has seamless integration with Windows 8, increasing productivity by using common Windows 8 controls like search and share. Employees can also “pin” favorite sites as live tiles on the Start screen or Windows taskbar, receiving notifications without evening opening a browser. Developers can even build a Windows 8 tile for web apps in minutes, through Build My Pinned Site in Windows 8.
6. Safer. According to Forrester, better security is the number one reason that firms upgrade browsers. IE10 is the safest Windows 8 browser against socially-engineered malware, building on the top-rated security features of IE9 with SmartScreen, new memory protections and Enhanced Protected Mode. Whether you look at socially-engineered malware block rates through third-party studies like NSS Labs, or software vulnerabilities through the NIST’s National Vulnerability Database, Internet Explorer helps lead the way in protecting you and your business. And if privacy is a concern, IE10 adds to IE9’s Tracking Protection by easily enabling the Do Not Track header, giving you better control over the browser’s communication with websites to help keep browsing history private.
“Browser Security Comparative Analysis: Socially Engineered Malware,” NSS Labs, October 24, 2012.
7. Comprehensive management and deployment tools. IE10 offers extensive management and deployment options for big and small businesses alike, which is a significant factor in choosing a browser. You can deploy IE10 using Windows Update, WSUS, System Center Configuration Manager, Group Policy, a network folder, or even slipstream into your existing Windows images. The Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) enables you to create customized install packages in minutes for your own customized version of IE. Nearly 1500 Group Policies and full integration with System Center Configuration Manager give granular controls to companies needing them. For companies seeking simpler controls, there are tools available such as the Security Compliance Manager or the “Easy to Deploy” section of the IEAK for end-to-end security and management scenarios that match your particular environment.
8. Compatibility and migration support. Simplifying web app development is important to many businesses. Internet Explorer 10 preserves development investments with emulation for IE9, IE8, IE7, and “quirks” modes. Users can easily render sites by selecting compatibility mode, and IT Pros can places sites into compatibility mode through Group Policy. As you would expect, we provide numerous resources and tools to help with your migration to the latest version of Internet Explorer. And we provide the longest support life cycle of any browser, allowing you to upgrade your browser at your own pace.
9. Support for modern standards. Modern web applications require support for the latest Web standards. With Internet Explorer 10, we have delivered our most standards-compliant browser ever, including extensive support for industry standards such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG, and ECMAScript5.1. We are committed to modern Web standards and work closely with standards bodies like the W3C and Ecma International to help develop these standards and bring them to the marketplace.
While any browser can claim to support some or all of a specification, test results from a comprehensive test suite are the best way to determine which browsers will render the same markup consistently. Microsoft created and maintains over 7,500 test cases that are shared with web standards organizations and the public, to ensure standards-based consistency across the ecosystem. Great standards support in Internet Explorer means that when you build sites based on modern Web standards, your sites will work across other browsers who have adopted these industry standards. Building on HTML5 with IE10 is the best way to develop for your business, today and tomorrow.
10. Total Cost of Ownership. Forrester confirmed that TCO is a significant factor in choosing a browser, stating that “IT pros overwhelmingly prefer to standardize on the browser that ships with their desktop OS. In fact, 70% associate that browser with the lowest TCO in addition to other best-in-category benefits, such as ease of deployment (82%), ease of support (79%), and predictable release schedules (73%).”
Take a look at Forrester’s Business Case for Standardizing on a Single Modern Browser in the Enterprise, and assess the factors that are important to your business. Internet Explorer 9 continues to be a great business browser, and Internet Explorer 10 is even better! Try the Release Preview of IE10 on Windows 7 now, or you can use IE10 as part of Windows 8 today. Internet Explorer 10 is fast, fluid, perfect for touch – and great for your business too.
Director, Internet Explorer Marketing