Internet Explorer 9 a “non-event” for business, expert says

Tuesday, 15 March, 2011

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) will be irrelevant for the vast majority of the business world, despite notable improvements over previous versions of the software, according to one IT consultancy firm.

Slated for release at 3 pm today Sydney time, IE9 boasts several back- and front-end improvements over previous versions. These include faster Javascript rendering, broader support for CSS3 and HTML5 elements, and several new user interface features.

Ovum Principal Analyst Richard Edwards claims the browser “will excite web developers and ‘prosumers’ as they explore the new HTML5 capabilities of the web’s most commonly used browser (Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 account for around 80% of the business browser market)”.

“But we consider it to be a non-event for the vast majority of corporate IT managers and their users,” he said.

This is because IE9 does not support Windows XP, the operating system on which Ovum claims 67% of corporate desktops run.

As such, the browser will see limited initial uptake.

“Organisations with public-facing websites will probably try and encourage consumers to use the more capable, web standards compliant IE9 in order to make life easier for their web developers and to wow them with a richer experience, but non-technical users will probably wait until Microsoft pushes the browser out in a Windows service pack,” Edwards said.

Edwards also suggested Microsoft focus its efforts on mobile browsers, as “the next battle ground for the ‘browser wars’ will be fought not on the desktop, but on the smartphone and tablet” - an area in which the analyst believes Microsoft is trailing the competition.

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