Corporate Browsers Choose IE

Zona Research reports in its latest browser study that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) has widely surpassed Netscape’s Navigator as the primary browser in use in the enterprise.

The study, which examined 308 enterprises, reveals that 59 percent of respondents are using IE as their primary browser, while 41 percent of respondents are using the Netscape Navigator. Zona’s October 1998 browser study findings showed IE trailing Navigator by 20 percentage points.

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Zona’s study found that an increase in corporate browser policies is fueling Internet Explorer’s increase in the enterprise. When asked if their companies encourage or require use of a particular browser, 69 percent of those surveyed said their companies had such policies. Of the respondents indicating their companies had browser policies, 62 percent revealed IE was standard while 38 percent specified Netscape Navigator or Communicator.

“The fact that corporate policy dictates over two-thirds of all primary browsers in use reinforces the notion that the desktop browser has long ceased being a personal choice,” said Zona Chief Analyst Clay Rider. “Designating a primary browser is now part of the greater IT strategy within the enterprise.”

Since Zona first began tracking browser usage in January 1996, enterprises with policies dictating browser usage has grown from 33 percent to 69 percent of enterprises surveyed.

Zona also investigated whether enterprises filter or monitor Internet access. The study found that 33 percent of the respondents indicated that their organization filters Web access based upon a list of approved sites and 20 percent filter based upon the user’s job function. Another 18 percent indicted their organization filters based upon the size of the transmission, and 13 percent based upon the type of day.

“One-third of the enterprises are filtering employees’ Internet access based upon one or more criterion and this sends the message that Internet access is a valuable corporate asset. We believe Internet access within the enterprise is beginning to be viewed in the same fashion as other resources such as the telephone — a resource that is available for corporate goals and achievement, not random personal use,” Ryder said.

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