Microsoft released the new Internet Explorer (IE) 9 browser this past week, and government enterprises across the world now have another important product decision to make.
According to USA Today, “IE still holds a 54.3% market share, followed by Firefox (17.8%), Chrome (9%) and Safari (5%), according to Net Applications. It remains to be seen whether IE9 — which only works on Windows 7 and Windows Vista PCs; Windows XP users must stick with IE8 — can stem IE’s steady market share decline…. IE9’s distinguishing capabilities is the inclusion of a ‘Do Not Track’ privacy mechanism that’s similar to a privacy feature introduced by Chrome.”
Many governments are still in the process of upgrading off of older operating systems and non-supported IE (and other vendor) browsers. Windows XP support ended last year, and support for IE6 also ended in 2010. Still, many state and local governments are using these products.
Meanwhile, the latest Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari browsers also offer new functionality and will continue to push the innovation envelope and ensure that new features are available to users going forward. This ongoing competition will not be ending anytime soon.
There are several browser comparison charts like this one from Top Ten Reviews and this chart from Microsoft which are available to compare various features. As you review your options, remember to take into account vendor bias on website content.
In Michigan government, we have teams that test various browsers with different applications to ensure that our users can reliably upgrade. This process is time-consuming and rather difficult for some – but needed to ensure that mission-critical applications still work after browser upgrades.
What I am doing at home? I will be downloading IE9 on my family computers and trying out the new browser for myself. This is becoming a regular pattern in our home.
Any thoughts on the new IE9 release? What is your government doing?
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.
During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.
He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.
Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.
He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.
Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso
Building effective virtual government requires new ideas, innovative thinking and hard work. From cybersecurity to cloud computing to mobile devices, Dan discusses what’s hot and what works in the world of gov tech.