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IE9 will have low take-up in enterprises, says Ovum analyst

Kathleen Hall

Enterprises are unlikely to adopt Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, analysts have said.

Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) to much fanfare, but the business response is likely to be lukewarm, says Ovum principal analyst Richard Edwards.

"Internet Explorer 9 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 mangers and their users," said Richard Edwards.

This is largely because IE9 does not run on Windows XP - the operating system running on 67% of corporate desktops, says Edwards.

"New browser versions are also expected from the competition, but we believe the next battleground for the 'browser wars' will be fought not on the desktop, but on the smartphone and tablet, and this is where Microsoft's existing browser offering still has a lot of catching up to do," he said.

Anthony Miller, co-founder of analyst firm Tech Market View, agrees: "Enterprises tend to be cautious about upgrading key operating software like browsers because of importance of web-based applications. I would be surprised if many enterprises have even gone to IE8, due to the timing and testing issue."

However, IE9 is a substantial improvement for Microsoft, placing it in a competitive position with Firefox and Chrome, adds Miller.

"This is a core part of Microsoft's cloud strategy as it wants to feel it has a competitive and leading browser."

Microsoft's IE9 gained a 0.59% of global browser share following its launch on 14 March. According to Net Market Share, which tracks the market share of browsers, IE8 has the highest share at 34.95%, followed by Firefox 3.6 (17.8%) and IE6 (11.3%).


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