Declining Support for Internet Explorer 8 Spells Trouble for Enterprise Users

Categories Business and Leadership, Online Marketing, Tech

Use of Internet Explorer 8 has been falling in most quarters pretty quickly quarter over quarter as users decide to move on to more modern and robust browsers (or update their OS and no longer have IE 8 available). Unfortunately, one group of users are laggards as might be expected – those on corporate PCs. Enterprise users, especially those in organizations that employ custom developed software or are subject to security or other standards that make the upgrade process slower, are going to be stuck on IE 8 for quite a while longer.

As of May 2013, Internet Explorer 8 was still the most widely used browser worldwide, with 23.05% market share according to Netmarketshare.

browser market share may 2013
Worldwide Web Browser Market Share, May 2013.

Unfortunately, developers of web-based applications are certainly not holding out for this group of desktop Internet users and are increasingly dropping support.

Internet Explorer 8 not supported by HubSpot
You’re showing a little gray, according to HubSpot.

HubSpot, above, has not one but TWO warnings when you try to log in with your “ancient” copy of Internet Explorer 8.

Google Drive not supported by Internet Explorer 8
Blatant self-promotion greets you when logging in to Google Drive.

Google Drive/Docs would like you to upgrade to a “modern” browser like, say, Chrome. Imagine that.

Microsoft thinks internet explorer 8 is a bit old, too
Microsoft “soft sells” an upgrade – but they do it absolutely EVERYWHERE.

Even Microsoft thinks it’s about time you switched to something new.

Of course, it’s not so easy to upgrade in a corporate setting, and most of the time installing other browsers is frowned upon, because it means even more configurations to support (or decline to support, as the case may be). Makers of online apps that need enterprise customers would be wise to keep this in mind and not let their urge to implement new features outrun the capabilities of a percentage of their customer base, not when even losing a percentage of sales could spell profit or loss for most vendors. I’m certainly not saying that online app developers should not be looking to the future – of course they should. It’s just wise to consider the market before deciding to drop support for any browser.

This same line of thinking goes for online marketers of all kinds. If you work in (or sell to) an industry where prospects and customers are likely to be running older hardware or software, consider the implications and TEST. Your urge to publish your next online video in 4K resolution may be somewhat disappointing to users on a corporate network running monitors at only 1280×1024. Worse yet, keep in mind that some sites will be blocked on corporate networks and your efforts may go to waste. Posting your video on YouTube could be fruitless if your audience can’t access the site. Consider an alternative such as Vimeo. Don’t make your HTML marketing emails too fancy if your audience is using Outlook 2007 or 2010 to view them (ironically if they are truly stuck in the past and using Outlook 2003, your messages will render better – go Microsoft…). Actually, on that last thought: don’t make your emails too fancy at all if you’re aiming for corporate users – your messages will likely just get blocked as spam anyway.

Work in a corporate environment or another type of large organization? What browser is the standard there?

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