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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.
Roger CapriottiDirector, Internet Explorer Marketing
I love IE, I use IE, I breath IE, I smoke IE, I develop for IE and I spend most part of my day with Internet Explorer. So please don't overlook this comment as if its coming from some hater.
I highly suggest the IE user experience team to setup a channel on uservoice just for 3 months and fix the number of "minor but irritating" issue once for ever. I can upload videos, IEDiag dumps and give you as much details as you want for reproducing those bugs but I (as in WE as in EVERYONE in the world) don't need "By Design" or "Won't Fix" in response.
Two bad words comes to mind, for those who are closing every ticket on Connect and wasting the useful feedback! Will you please stop shooting your own feet! The competition is working on fine details and here you guys are face slapping everyone who is coming forward by closing the minor/major bug reports!
(8-10 years old bug; always considered as minor)
At least once in 10 days, when I refresh a page on IE (7, 8,9 and now 10), I get "page not found". Turns out the URL was appended automatically with incorrect "http//" string (without colon). Like http://msn.com is altered to http://http//msn.com.
Sometimes I get it when pressing refresh button (or hitting F5) and most of the times I get it when pressing Alt+D+Enter.
Easiest way for a member of IE team to spot the exact area:
open the entire IE related projects in IDE and search for "http//" (without colon).
Looking at the always-happening, major bugs with "tangible steps of reproduction" getting ditched, this stands absolutely no chance to get anyone's ears at IE team. "Will it ever get fixed?", wonders me..
- Nathan, a hopeless IE tester.
There was very clear and concrete feedback on Connect on how/why the separate search box was more beneficial compared to searching from the address bar and it has tons of Up votes yet it was ignored for IE9 as well as IE10. :( If I wanted to use a minimalist UI, I would have used Google Chrome. Keeping the search box as an option wouldn't have hurt. Even IE6 supported address bar searches (ages before the search box was added in IE7).
@nathan: Thanks for posting this. I work closely with the IE team (I'm in developer relations) and I'm going to send them your feedback. I know that they're always looking for ways to improve the how bugs are managed and responded to.
Really appreciate you taking the time to compile all of this.
- Rey Bango (MS Developer Relations)
Short version of comment: True!
Hands down, Internet Explorer is best for business. Microsoft knows how to develop excellent products for enterprise sector. That is how IE has kept its distance from Firefox. Active Directory integration is not mentioned in this post but that is an important factor.
But be warned: Google Chrome is fast approaching and will catch up soon. As much as Internet Explorer is a good choice for the enterprise sector, it is as much a bad choice for home users and other consumers on that end of the spectrum. Internet Explorer's plug-in support is abysmal, there is no powerful community basis (it exists, yes, but it is awful) and Microsoft does not accept any feedback. (It receives feedback, but does not accept them.) Basically, Internet Explorer is on a collision course with oblivion. Course correction is still possible.
reybango, I really appreciate that you took time for reply. I truly hope the aforementioned bug will be fixed along with the other glitches we experience.
IE is a proprietary software, so non-Microsoft enthusiasts cannot contribute directly in the hardcore development. OTOH, they can submit feedback, bugs and feature request. Then IE team release bug-fixes in next minor version and new features in next major version (which takes around two years to release). Between IE9's and IE10's release dates, the competition paned out 4 major versions of their browser. I agree that IE10 complies with almost all "W3C Recommendation" for HTML5 and CSS3 till date and almost level its competitors and even supersede them in some areas; especially when it comes to "completeness" of new standards rather rushing to incorporate semi-cooked W3C drafts.
Since web-browser is one of the most evolving software, there must be some more intuitive way to let the outside world collaborate in the development life-cycle. One way to do that is to practically assure them that their feedback was acknowledged. Then shrinking the major release life-cycle, posting the information about new features included and bug fixes in Release Notes, in addition to update the corresponding bug report on Connect.
Also, please ask the team members responsible for managing bugs on Connect that if reported bug is valid and reproducible, please do not close it until it is fixed. I personally know people who quit submitting IE bug reports due to this one common response: "We are able to reproduce this issue. However, we are unable to address your feedback during this release." and then the report will be closed as "Won't Fix" or "By Design". Does that mean we are supposed to resubmit this bug report before next release or has it already logged in your road-map? We never figured that one out!
@rey, I second @Nathan's and @xpclient's thoughts,
Adding to @Nathan comment:
Even the tiniest reproducible bug sitting there giving the wrong impression to many users:
Example: Ctrl+0 shortcut for zoom-to-normal doesn't work when 0 is pressed on numpad
why is security 6th on the list?
when will IE 10 for windows 7 be done?
If IE10 is so great, when will it be officially available for Windows 7? I don't understand the hold up.
I was always told... sell benefits, not features....
there are dollar signs on the bottom line!
However... its time to uncheck "Display intranet sites in Compatibility View" and migrate to the new web...no way around it... its gunna cost, but do the benefits outweigh the costs?
I'm sure Microsoft had many reasons to default to compatibility mode,
No good ones to hide turning it off though, most average and below will not know about keyboard shortcuts and F12,
With Comp-Mode off there is no comparison and new users are no doubt going to be turn off ie10 instead of turning off the real problem,
Fast and fluid does not apply unless comp-mode is off,
I've found No web pages which load properly and that's just sad but in reality neither did ie9 :)
It's sweet that Microsoft did not Enable 64 bit by default that would of been another nail in the coffin.