How to Pick the Best Web Browser for Your Business

Web browsers have become increasingly important to the enterprise with the advent of cloud computing. With all of the major Web browser makers releasing new versions of their wares in the last year, there are several very good and innovative choices out there. eWEEK Labs recommends ways to pick the best browser for accessing enterprise applications and general Web browsing.

Once upon a time, important corporate applications were delivered to desktops or through classic client/server infrastructures. Now, many of the applications that your company relies on are delivered to the Web browser, and this makes the browser more important than ever when it comes to the enterprise.

With all of the major Web browser makers releasing new versions of their wares in the last year, users have several very good and innovative choices. You can choose the browser that works best for you or even choose to use several different browsers for different tasks.

However, few companies are willing to be this egalitarian when it comes to browsers.

Enterprises will most likely want to standardize on one or maybe two browsers that are acceptable for company use. By doing this, companies can ease support and development issues centered on corporate Web applications and general browser use.

For a look at the enterprise-friendly features of the latest browsers, click here.

But how do you decide which browser your company will use? It isn't as simple as picking the best browser. You'll need a browser that works well with your important Web-based enterprise applications, isn't plagued with security issues and can be easily supported by IT.

In this report, eWEEK Labs looks at all of the major Web browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Opera Software's Opera.

I tested these browsers based on the criteria most important to businesses: administrative capabilities, application compatibility, security and performance.

I rotated use of the browsers on a daily basis, on different systems and platforms. I also ran some specific tests in areas such as application compatibility and performance. While I did do some testing with beta versions of some of the browsers, the majority of tests were performed using the currently shipping versions of the browsers: IE 8, Firefox 3.0, Safari 3.2, Chrome 2.0 and Opera 9.6.

No browser came out as the clear choice for any business. As with most applications, a company will need to look at the issues most important to it and pick the browser that best fits its needs.