Last week, Microsoft unveiled the latest version of its market leading web browser. Richard Edwards, an Ovum principal analyst, looks at whether it cuts the mustard with IT managers.
Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) may have entered the public beta phase of its existence, but for the vast majority of corporate IT managers and their users this is a complete non-event.
Corporate IT mangers have more fundamental upgrade issues to think about. They are still trying to decide if Windows 7 is worth the cost of upgrade, so thoughts of rolling-out IE9 are a long, long way off.
IE9 is the latest in a long line of web browsers from Microsoft, but for the vast majority of enterprise users and their IT departments, the imminent arrival is a complete irrelevancy, for three very good reasons.
Firstly, IE9 is not supported on Windows XP. Most large enterprises are still running Windows XP, and will continue to do so for the next two years at least. Microsoft’s decision to drop support for Windows XP with this release of Internet Explorer has therefore rendered it an irrelevancy.
Secondly, most large enterprises have not yet deployed IE8. IE9 has yet to be officially released, and by the time it is deemed ‘ready for business’, many organisations will still be testing their websites and applications for compatibility with IE7 and IE8, let alone IE9.
Lastly, the mobile web experience is today’s focus of attention. IE9 may well include a new JScript engine and offer support for HTML5 audio and video, but it’s the capabilities offered by smartphone browser that will determine the web’s next course of evolution.
By Richard Edwards
Ovum principal analyst
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