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Even For Businesses, Chrome Is The Top Browser (computerworld.com) 98

An anonymous reader shares Computerworld's interview with David Michael Smith of Gartner. "Most enterprises still have a 'standard' browser, and most of the time, that's something from Microsoft. These days it's IE11. But we've found that people actually use Chrome more than IE... It's the most-used browser in enterprise," he said... IE retains a sizable share -- Smith called it "a significant presence" -- largely because it's still required in most companies. "There are a lot of [enterprise] applications that only work in IE, because [those apps] use plug-ins," Smith said, ticking off examples like Adobe Flash, Java and Microsoft's own Silverlight. "Anything that requires an ActiveX control needs IE."

Many businesses have adopted the two-prong strategy that Gartner and others began recommending years ago: Keep a "legacy" browser to handle older sites, services and web apps, but offer another for everything else... Chrome, said Smith, is now the "overwhelming choice" as the modern enterprise browser... Smith wasn't optimistic that Edge would supplant Chrome, even when Windows 10 is widely deployed on corporate computers in the next few years. "Edge certainly will have opportunities" once Windows 10 is the enterprise-standard OS, "but I would say that Chrome has a lot of momentum, largely for the fact that it is so popular on the internet."

While a year ago Chrome and Microsoft's browsers both held 41% of the browser market share, now Chrome holds 59% to just 24% for both IE and Edge combined.
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Even For Businesses, Chrome Is The Top Browser

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  • The people have spoken, and their preferences - despite bundling and presets - have been made known.

    If variants of IE weren't mandatory or exclusive at many places (my company has some 400,000 computers with IE, and business critical Oracle modules that only work in IE), Microsoft would have even less than 24%.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The people have spoken, and their preferences - despite bundling and presets - have been made known.

      I'm afraid. Last time I heard that, we got Trump.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      in "enterprise" markets, the "people" don't normally have a say in what runs on a computer.. thus, IE (soon, edge) is king, even today. less now for proprietary software or ancient web sites, but because it's managed and updated with windows and with the same tools.

      BUT there is a big, huge difference with chrome in this case... it does NOT REQUIRE admin rights to install under your user account (the default install method)... combine that with google's constant nagging on its search, mail and other properti

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The people have spoken, and their preferences - despite bundling and presets - have been made known.

      Hardly. More like, it's the only thing that works.

      Let's say you try to do something like a firefox deployment on an organizational level. The first thing you will notice is the lack of an MSI file for deployment with AD. Which means getting it out there requires some third party package manager, or re-imaging.

      Once that's done, you'll notice the lack of policies for it. (Something Chrome supports, and even pro

  • Firefox losing market-share, Thunderbird increasingly abandoned [slashdot.org], but, at least, Mozilla — after squeezing out that no-good hater [slate.com] — is socially just.

    Replacing the inventor of JavaScript [w3.org] with someone from marketing made the world a better place. Rejoice!

    • Replacing the inventor of JavaScript with someone from marketing made the world a better place.

      Given some of the Javascript design choices that web developers have been forever saddled with, your statement may not be as ironic as you intended

    • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @11:27AM (#54501551) Homepage

      The inventor of JavaScript isn't someone most web devs think highly of.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        The inventor of JavaScript isn't someone most web devs think highly of.

        Right up there with the dude who invented neckties.

    • He wasn't really much better than the marketing guys because he let himself get pushed by them into creating JS. So he was effectively replaced in decision-making with someone from marketing twenty years ago.
    • The problem wasn't trading technical merit for moral high ground. Or at least not just that. Mozilla was quite content to simply shed technical merit for any reason at all. They saw Chrome beginning to become successful, and immediately decided to emulate the development environment. They adopted Google's rapid release and versioning method on a project that was neither technically nor culturally suited for it. They broke extensions by the truck load with that little gem, and instead of slowing down an

      • Mozilla had a great browser, and a great community. Someone spooked at Chrome's early success and decided that change for change's sake was necessary,

        Very true. While I can forgive the change in version numbering scheme, the rest was a shift away from great innovation, as well as needles dumbing down.

        Years ago, I switched to Palemoon. Still in the Firefox family, but preforms better then either FF or Chrome and is less dumbed down.

        My employer, meanwhile, has joined the crowd in standardizing on Chrome, I had hoped they'd at least have gone to a variant that doesn't phone home, for example Iron.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I switched to Palemoon. Still in the Firefox family, but preforms better then either FF or Chrome and is less dumbed down.

          Doubt it. Show me the benchmarks. These benchmarks from a few years ago [portableapps.com] say Pale Moon is slower. These benchmarks from last year [kaputniks.org] say Pale Moon is slower.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      Your Thunderbird link is ten years old. Here's [mozilla.org] one from two years ago showing increased usage over that time. An AC posted a link to an article talking about the Mozilla foundation dropping Thunderbird, here's [mozilla.org] a recent article showing that that's a mischaracterization - Thunderbird isn't going anywhere.

      It's true that Firefox is losing market share, but so is everyone else relative to Chrome. It's still at #2 for desktop browsers, which is a pretty big deal even if the total share is small percentage-wise
      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Thunderbird isn't going anywhere.

        From your link:

        Thunderbird will migrate off Mozilla Corporation infrastructure

        So, yeah, it is "going" somewhere...

        It's true that Firefox is losing market share, but so is everyone else relative to Chrome.

        Well, let's wait for Google to submit to external pressure and pick a few top executives to please SJWs, rather than based on actual technical merits. The sort of thing they are doing [slashdot.org] should get them the same sort of boycott from OkCupid as Mozilla got back then...

  • chrome is spyware (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @10:52AM (#54501441)

    chrome spys on you for google's profit. use it at your peril as google no longer believes in "don't do evil", the shareholders put a stop to that.

    On top of that chrome is obnoxious in that it tends to be running processes even when you are not using. Try it on a raspberry pi 3 and you will see 14% of your precision 1GB are 3 Chromium background apps even when Chrome is not running. They use non-negligble CPU, so there not doing nothing.

    • Well are you sure sure MS isn't doing the same thing with IE? Also for most businesses I've seen they are starting to recommend Chrome over IE and Edge because it just works. So many sites don't work with IE or Edge.
      • It's possible but they don't have the leverage to monetize the info to the extent google does. MS at one point was actually advertising that they don't sell out your privacy the way google does. Apple to claims this too. Since apple doesn't have it's own search engine (like Bing) I'm inclined to believe apple.

        • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

          True enough. But then at least part of Microsoft's monetization push is to deprive their competitor of a revenue stream. So choose your 'evil', I guess.

          Still, for the umpteenth time, Google *still* does not sell your information. They show you ads based on it - and while that can feel like a creepy invasion of your privacy, it's not as if anyone has actually looked at your info. Your point about Apple has some logic behind it - if you don't mind paying a ton for Apple's hardware. Then again, if you sea

      • "Whatabout" argument detected.

    • Chrome will run in the background if a) the visible checkbox on the Settings page to run in the background is ticked b) you installed extensions that have background functionality and c) you didn't specifically close Chrome with the Exit command, but instead closed the visible windows which still allows the aforementioned background functionality to happen.

      Makes sense to me.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ... c) you didn't specifically close Chrome with the Exit command, but instead closed the visible windows which still allows the aforementioned background functionality to happen.

        Makes sense to me.

        Oh, hello there, Mr. 'Microsoft X (close) button doesn't rejects the Win10 upgrade'
        If I fucking close a fucking window I want the fucking program to fucking close. Just like ordinary Windows programs.

    • Re:chrome is spyware (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @11:56AM (#54501659)

      chrome spys on you for google's profit

      No it doesn't. Spying implies some form of secrecy or covert operation. Chrome collects your data for Google's profit. Calling it spying when everyone knows exactly what is happening and they are open about it is quite silly.

      • Calling it spying when everyone knows exactly what is happening and they are open about it is quite silly.

        Most people probably have no idea that Chrome is collecting data at all. If they do happen to know that, they probably have no idea what exactly they are collecting anyway. I bet you couldn't tell me everything that Chrome is collecting with absolute certainty.

        If Google is so "open" about it, then there should be somewhere I can go and see a detailed list of every piece of data collected, and exactly how it is collected, with independent audits of each code release performed to ensure accuracy. But no such

        • Most people probably have no idea that Chrome is collecting data at all.

          Hog fucking wash. Not only is it widely known to the point of almost being an internet meme, it's also a product from a company that is the largest advertising company in the world, that has user data as its primary source of income, and the installation expressly mentions on multiple occasions that Chrome collects data, Chrome sends user statistics, push this button to link Chrome to your Google account where everything is shared across all devices, etc.

    • Can you post some packet logs of this behavior? Everyone suddenly clams up when I ask for them.

  • by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @10:53AM (#54501449) Homepage

    We initially adopted Chrome back when it was exciting, fast, and standards-obsessive. These days... Google seems to have ambitions to turn Chrome browser into more of a quasi-OS platform. More importantly, it is a platform that is somewhere between difficult and impossible to manage to the degree that we would like to. These days the web is integrating more and more active (executable) content into sites, as opposed to passive content that is displayed with limited interaction. More execution = more attack surface, more difficulty to sandbox properly, etc. I'm not saying we need to go back to active content being limited to 1990s-style tags, but Google seems to be rushing ahead with "what can we do?" versus considering "what should we do?" A happy medium would be to allow end-users and administrators to choose where on the spectrum of bleeding edge (pun intended) content we want to deal with, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards. Additionally, it's not like it's an even remotely acceptable option to not update your browser so what Google (or Microsoft or Mozilla or Apple) inflict on us sticks.

    • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @11:05AM (#54501487)

      More specifically, Google aims to turn Chrome into an equivalent of Windows 10, with all the joys of telemetry.

    • by Plus1Entropy ( 4481723 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @01:20PM (#54502047)

      Google seems to have ambitions to turn Chrome browser into more of a quasi-OS platform.

      This was the original plan. When I was at University, Google came to give a recruitment speech to all the CS/EE/CE students. This was when Chrome was pretty much brand new.

      Basically they wanted to undo the advent of distributed computing and return us to the mainframe-terminal architecture. Quite literally, the guy said something along the lines of "We want your computer to just be a monitor, keyboard, and mouse."

      It was at that point I realized that you didn't have to be that smart to work at Google.

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        Could that possibly be because the mainframe-terminal architecture (which, after all, describes the web too) works better - and across more devices, and is much easier to support than distributed computing? Chrome - as the 'terminal' in your mainframe-terminal architecture, provides everything that your distributed 'computer on the desktop' does once you're running an application where the data is centralized anyway.

  • and internal tools are written in html/javascript because it's quick n dirty. Chrome being faster means programmers spend less time optimizing. Also when Chrome breaks you uninstall/reinstall and you're back up. When IE breaks it's time to reimage the PC.
  • IE11 is the standard web browser and locked down tighter than a virgin nerd's ass at my job. Some techs misuse their admin authority to install Firefox or Chrome. Those installations are automagically uninstalled via the prohibitive software script each month or manually uninstalled after management sends out spreadsheet of IT techs with prohibitive software installed on their systems.
  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @11:34AM (#54501579) Homepage

    How controllable is Chrome by group policy? It's good to be able to lock regular users out of the settings and developer tools but grant certain access to those that need it.

    • by R.Mo_Robert ( 737913 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @12:13PM (#54501749)

      How controllable is Chrome by group policy? It's good to be able to lock regular users out of the settings and developer tools but grant certain access to those that need it.

      Very. There are Administrative Templates available from Google and you can use them to create GPOs that either set computer/user policies (not changeable by user) or default user preferences (changeable). I've used the former to prevent installation of extensions and whatnot and the latter to configure homepages. Disabling developer mode is another thing you can do. I'm not sure if there's an item to disable user access to Settings (maybe you could blacklist chrome://settings?), but I think a better option for most cases would be to enable GPO items that will configure as policies specific settings you don't want the users to change.

  • I decided that I will use tools provided by our IT team. Chrome updates whenever it likes. It may or might not share data with Google. If things break or Chrome does something stupid, I do not want to be liable.
  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @12:09PM (#54501717)
    Chrome isn't #1 because it's a good browser. It's #1 because google.com and a thousand other websites nag you to install it. Avast Antivirus nags you to install it on every big update and the box is checked by default. Tons of software installers try to hoist a Chrome and/or Google Toolbar on you and the boxes are checked by default. Google has paid off millions of people to thrust Chrome in your face at every turn and try to install it and force it to be the default browser without you noticing that it's happened.

    Chrome is big because you have to actively resist installing and keeping it at this point. Chrome does not deserve its market share; it is not organic, it is bought and paid for.
    • I even have Google nagging me to install it on my Surface 2 with Windows RT, even though they don't have a version of Chrome that works with this tablet.

    • Exactly. At this point it's known by almost everyone that uses a computer. In the beggining how do you think it got its marketshare? Did millions of geeks tell their non-geek friends and relatives how nice Chrome was? No, Google pushed it hard by every way they could think of.
      Firefox got popular by being much better than IE was at the time (not that hard).
      For some people Chrome may be better than anything else but publicity and bundling were very important to getting it where it's today.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday May 28, 2017 @12:25PM (#54501801)

    Keep a "legacy" browser to handle older sites, services and web apps, but offer another for everything else... Chrome

    I do the opposite - Chrome is my "legacy" browser thanks to its built in Flash support. But I don't use it otherwise.

    Ive been trying to minimize the amount of time I live in the Google-sphere for a few years now. My work uses Google Apps for education; but that's subject to public records requests anyway so Google could have access just like anyone else.

  • now IE suck to much and Firefox lacks focus.

  • I know at the very least that Chrome seems to work a lot better with NTLM and other single-sign-on functions than Firefox. This alone accounts for my use of Chrome at work despite liking Firefox better. If SSO doesn't work, the web browser is useless in big business. Web proxies, payroll, any cloud app (like it or not, everything is going to "cloud" services) depend on not having to type your creds in every time you visit a corp function.

    Firefox fixes that, and they'd be my browser of choice at work.

  • As a home user, i pro-actively use all three of the 'big three' - Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Partly out of curiosity, partly because one might be slightly better at certain content than others (like hardware accelerated video content), partly to have separate sessions (closeable content vs content i need to keep 'hot' for multiple days) and partly to separate cookies. So running multiple browsers is just a simple life-hack i use for pragmatic purposes.

    To be fair, i am pretty agnostic. All browsers do what th

  • There are a lot of [enterprise] applications that only work in IE, because [those apps] use plug-ins

    But IE is going the way of the dodo, and Edge does not supports plug-ins, right?

  • Our org allowed Chrome because IE had too many bugs. Having an alternative reduced help-desk calls. Chrome has bugs also, but the chance of both Chrome and IE having the same bug is small. If an app or feature doesn't work on one, it will likely work on the other. It's a screwy state of affairs, but it's practical.

  • I'll stay with Firefox thanks.

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