Internet Explorer doesn’t get much love in the technology industry. Critics fault it for its security problems. They say it doesn’t work as well as competing browsers. And they continue to say that the average user should work with a different browser.
Although those complaints have cut into Internet Explorer’s consumer market share, they haven’t worked so well in the enterprise. With the release of Internet Explorer 9, it’s becoming clearer that the chances of competing browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox beating Microsoft’s latest browser anytime soon seem slim.
Internet Explorer 9 might be in its infancy, but this new browser edition ensures enterprises will stick with Microsoft. Here’s why:
1. It’s much faster
Internet Explorer 8 and other previous versions of the software loaded Web pages very slowly. In fact, Google’s Chrome browser easily bested Internet Explorer in speed tests. But Internet Explorer 9 is quite fast, thanks to Microsoft’s decision to utilize the computer’s graphics processor. The result is a browser that for most companies will deliver the speed business users are seeking.
2. It’s taking aim at Chrome
Speaking of speed, it’s clear that Internet Explorer 9 is taking aim at Google Chrome. The browser has taken on a cleaner, Chrome-like look, making it easier to navigate. Plus, it has ditched the search box, in favor of a single box that allows users to input a Website’s address or search for content. And by improving Internet Explorer 9’s speed, it seems clearer than ever that Microsoft views Google as its top competitor in the browser market.
3. Security hasn’t mattered in the past
There is little debating that Internet Explorer has been a security nightmare for Microsoft. Internet Explorer 6, for example, is widely considered one of the most insecure browsers ever released. But as those security problems persisted, companies continued to stick with Internet Explorer. So, while security is commonly a reason Internet Explorer critics give to get companies to switch from Microsoft’s browser, it would seem that most companies haven’t cared in the past. And if Internet Explorer 9 still suffers from security problems, it’s unlikely that many companies will switch.
4. It’s a vastly improved design
Internet Explorer 9 will likely deliver a far better experience to the average employee. Whereas previous versions of the browser were difficult for novice users to perform basic tasks, the new and improved design in Internet Explorer 9 provides power for advanced users and simplicity for novices. That alone should make Internet Explorer 9 a fine choice for companies looking to improve their browser productivity.
Internet Explorer Retains Advantages with Enterprise Apps
5. Solutions still rely on it
As more Web-based solutions make their way to the enterprise, Internet Explorer becomes even more important. In fact, several products currently in use by companies rely upon Internet Explorer to work. That alone makes Internet Explorer relevant. And it will likely ensure that Internet Explorer 9 will be the browser of choice for companies going forward.
6. The competition can’t cut it
Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are outstanding browsers. For consumers, they are arguably a better option than anything Microsoft puts out. But the corporate world is a different space. And for most enterprise customers, Chrome and Firefox can’t match Internet Explorer 9 in compatibility with enterprise applications, especially custom corporate apps. They don’t deliver the same experience. Worst of all, they don‘t adequately support current enterprise solutions.
7. The download manager is vastly improved
Microsoft made a major update to its download manager in Internet Explorer 9. When a user attempts to download something from the Web, a new “reputation” feature kicks in. It evaluates the source of the download, and if it doesn’t have a solid reputation, the warnings related to the download are made abundantly clear. The idea is to limit the user‘s exposure to malicious files. It’s not a guaranteed security safeguard, but it should go a long way in making IT managers feel more comfortable giving employees access to the browser.
8. It’s an extension of Windows 7
Although Internet Explorer 9 won’t work with Windows XP, it’s a vastly improved extension of Windows 7. In fact, users can “pin” sites to their taskbar, giving them easy access to pages in the future. Those pinned items also boast added functionality in some cases. It seems that Microsoft is attempting to make its browser a viable component in Windows’ functionality. That’s a good thing from an employee-productivity perspective.
9. Microsoft’s cloud vision works for now
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been saying for months that his company views the cloud differently than some other firms. He believes that users are going to need a rich client, like Internet Explorer 9, to interact with the cloud, rather than a thin client. Some would disagree, but for now, Microsoft seems correct in that assumption. Internet Explorer 9 will work exceptionally well for a user’s cloud services. It will provide the kind of functionality most companies are looking for related to their cloud endeavors.
10. It’s a familiar experience
In the end, Internet Explorer 9 isn’t so drastically different that users won’t feel at home. In fact, the browser provides a familiar experience that most enterprise employees would feel comfortable with. That’s a good thing. And it should help Internet Explorer 9 enjoy the kind of success that Microsoft hopes it will achieve.