The Rabid Conservative

Think Right, Act Right, Be Right.

Internet Explorer’s Slow Bleed

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Microsoft has announced Service Pack 1 for Office 2010.  Not other wise important news unless you are really concerned with keeping your computer up-to-date with Microsoft’s latest fixes.  But what is most interesting to me is that SharePoint 2010 is now to officially support Google Chrome.

I find that amusing because of what I heard, directly from Microsoft, just a few months ago.

I was sitting in one of those Microsoft solutions seminars several months ago and the topic of SharePoint came up.  For those that don’t know, SharePoint is a web platform from Microsoft that is designed to create rich websites for content management and document management purposes.  These sites are geared towards an enterprise with a lot of content to share with its internal and external masses.  Pretty cool tool, but as I was looking thought the list of supported browsers, I saw: Internet Explorer (naturally, but I hate IE9), Firefox (not a fan), and Safari. 

Question mark…Safari?  Why did Microsoft go with the fruit browser?

Another question mark…what about Google Chrome?  So I asked the Microsoft rep that was there, “Why no support for Chrome?”  The guy replied, “Because Microsoft is not going to support a browser that only has a single digit percentage of use.

I’m not sure what stats this dude was looking at, but I pull my stats from the W3C Browser Statistics page.  On that page, Chrome was sitting at over 20% usage where IE was at 28%.  Today, Chrome is actually running second now behind Mozilla Firefox.   Safari is hovering around 4%.  In other words, Microsoft’s initial decision to not support Chrome in SharePoint was not based on statistics, but a direct competition to try to keep Chrome from gaining dominance. 

The even bigger question with all of this is that no matter what Microsoft does, Internet Explorer seems to be on this 10% per year slow bleed.  Where IE crushed Netscape out of the market during the Browser Wars, now IE is beginning to fade away much like Netscape did.  Microsoft has released the second preview of IE 10, but I’nm beginning to wonder if IE-X is going to be the last browser that Microsoft actually does.  With Firefox and now Chrome firmly in the 1-2 spots of the Browser race and IE winding down to the low 20’s, perhaps Microsoft got the idea that discounting nearly a fourth of the browser population would be bad for SharePoint’s business.

Nothing political in this post, but it was amusing to see, given that I got an entirely different take from others within the Redmond camp a short time ago.

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Written by The Rabid Conservative

June 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm

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