Internet Explorer, Windows XP rank highly at work, but BYOD threatens mutiny

Internet Explorer, Windows XP rank highly at work, but BYOD threatens mutiny

Summary: Bring your own device to work? According to Forrester research, that's mixing up the browser market space, despite Internet Explorer keeping its top-dog status. Meanwhile, Windows XP still ranks highly at work despite one year left until support gets cut off.


Microsoft's Internet Explorer retains its lead at the top of the browser market share rankings, but bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is threatening its dominance.

Meanwhile, Windows XP still has a stranglehold on more than one-third of the enterprise market, despite having less than one year until Microsoft cuts off support for the aging operating system.

According to latest Forrester research, out of nearly 7,300 global IT information workers, Internet Explorer remains at the top of their self-reported browser usage at 40.2 percent. Google Chrome stands at second place with 27.8 percent, Mozilla Firefox at 25.4 percent, while Apple's Safari brings in just 1.8 percent.

Why? Because Internet Explorer remains the default browser for most Windows-based machines in the workplace.

But the numbers are mixed and becoming increasingly diverse, according to Forrester vice-president J.P. Gownder in the report. The reason is that many employees who bring their own devices to work have an alternative default browser — notably either Chrome or Firefox. 

Interestingly, while Safari ranks very low in the results table (because both Chrome and Firefox are cross-platform browsers), it's not a solid indication that Mac usage is down in the enterprise. In fact, the research says 7.2 percent of IT decision makers in North America and the EU support Macs at work.

Of course, results are skewed in Europe because for all Windows-based machines, there are no "default" browsers thanks to a European Commission intervention on Microsoft. An antitrust settlement led Microsoft into offering users the choice of browser, leaving a "default" browser off the table altogether. (The software giant was recently hit by a $733 million fine after it broke antitrust commitments.)

Perhaps worryingly, Windows XP still remains as the second-most used operating system in the workplace. Windows 7, as you might expect, is on top, skipping Windows Vista altogether with just 3 percent running the platform in the U.S. and the EU.

Though the headline could well be, "Windows 7 prevails as the most used desktop platform in the enterprise," Windows XP's doomsday is just around the corner. "Corner" is meant comparatively, of course, considering it's been on the market for more than 12 years.

(Image: Forrester Research)

The breakdown is a worry. Gartner only last week warned to "prepare" for the death of Windows XP, which has its cut-off date of April 8, 2014.

Microsoft's traction in Windows 7 in the enterprise is good. There's no doubt about that. But Gownder explains that "Windows 7 hasn't reached the ubiquity of [Windows] XP," which at one point had more than 80 percent of enterprise desktop devices running the platform. 

There's hope, though. It took Windows XP five years to reach its market share peak in the workplace, Windows 7 has only taken three and a half years, he notes. There's hope that by the time Windows XP finally has the bucket kicked from underneath it, its share could have been eaten up by an increase in Windows 7 sales.

Topics: Browser, Google, Microsoft

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  • XP hanging in there

    XP will probably hang in there a while longer.
    To make the move to Windows 7 implies upgrading the hardware platforms. In these economic times, a lot of companies don't want to invest that chunk of change when XP is still capable of providing what a user needs and not what a user wants.
    Microsoft will have to wait until the economy come back up before Windows 7 goes to 80% market share. If the choice is Windows 7 or a job, I would keep the job and XP.
    • Windows XP is not going anywhere... an example... a friend of my was assigned two machines, one from our customer and one from the company he works for...

      The one from the company had Windows 8 and it was "downgraded" to Windows 7, as this was thought so, to avoid any problems with the customer network...

      As it turned out the other PC (the one provided by the customer), had Windows XP. It was "downgraded" from Windows 7 to comply with the customers company policy... WTF, you'll say?

      Upon arrival my friend asked the latter system to be reverted back to 7, and they him a sermon, regarding to "best practices" policy of the company.

      Even though the machine had a valid Windows 7 license, it was against IT department policy to "upgrade" any machine to targeted to C-level management, even though it would only take an hour or two to do so...

      This is a Fortune 500 company and it's just a sample of what's in store.

      With that said... it's gonna be incredible hard for Microsoft to pull the plug...
  • No security minded enterprise would let android devices have corporate

    network access. And those who dont care about security will be fine with keeping XP past it's support date.
    Johnny Vegas
    • is this because

      "corporate network access" actually means "unrestricted network access to unsecured Windows computers"?

      Is Android to blame here? Why?
  • Windows 7 still has too many bugs

    Only recently have I automatically stopped retrofitting XP on new PC's, thinking that Win7 surely must have matured enough and software companies have had more than enough time to catch up, but it's been a headache of a decision. Besides the usual network performance issues in mixed environments, I'm discovering that Win7 apparently slows down at a faster rate than XP for very busy people. A Intel Core i5 i5-3470-powered Lenovo only a few months old had to get the full defrag/CCleaner treatment when it unacceptably slowed down, and it also appears that Win7, Picasa, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 don't seem to get along that well when it comes to getting pictures off the S3. Win98 and whatever software came with the camera was far more effortless.

    When you just want something to work in the Windows world, Win7 is proving to be a poor successor to XP.
    • Hmmm


      My entire office uses Windows 7. I use Ubuntu and Windows 7 at home. This is the case for one year. However, I am yet to see network issues at mixed environments or performance degradation issues. I would suggest you to check the hardware first. Is Win7 pre-bundled with the laptop? if so, better check the laptop at the service center.