Will enterprise IT dump Internet Explorer for Google Chrome?

The answer appears to be: slowly, if at all.

Techies appear to be flocking to Google Chrome, which may lead many consumers and small businesses to follow.

But will enterprises also take to Chrome? After all, they remain stubbornly loyal to Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer (IE) despite Mozilla Firefox's growing popularity.

The answer appears to be: slowly, if at all. While developers may enthuse over Chrome's clean look and fast rendering of Web pages, they will chafe at the additional grunt work needed to rewrite and test to support Chrome.

"The only thing that would make me want to test on Chrome is if the client wants it or if Chrome gets significant market share," said Greg Raiz, a Web developer and owner of Raizlabs, a Brookline, Mass. custom software maker. "Honestly, it's a business thing."

An even bigger obstacle are IT managers and CIOs, for whom raw browser performance is only one of many factors.

"I'd have to make sure Chrome worked well with all of our other apps. What is the business value in that?" said Robert Fort, CIO for Virgin Entertainment Group Inc. The Los Angeles retailer is standardized on Internet Explorer 7 and other Microsoft software, while all of Fort's developers work in Microsoft's .Net.

"I give Google all the credit in the world for innovative solutions ... but to Microsoft's credit, they've got a lot more of an enterprise attitude," Fort said.

He also worries about the employee retraining and application testing that would be required if Virgin started officially supporting Chrome.

"Google Chrome is definitely faster than IE 8 Beta 2. But there'd have to be astronomical performance improvements in Chrome for us to switch," he said.

Such inertia is no surprise to Forrester Research Inc. analyst Sherri McLeish.

"Too many IT shops are comfortable with IE. They've already made a decision, so they're not likely to introduce another vendor," McLeish said.

Google's propensity to keep its software in long trial periods also puts IT managers off. "There's a lot of hubbub in the press, but it's still a beta, so for enterprises, it fundamentally isn't as interesting," she said.

IE remains standard for enterprise management

A more concrete obstacle for Chrome is the difficulty that enterprises would face trying to deploy and manage Chrome as easily as with IE.

Safari and Firefox are ahead of Chrome in this regard. But their weaknesses compared to IE -- which can be deployed and patched by system administrators and managed through group policies such as Active Directory -- are so glaring that they largely prevent widescale enterprise deployments, say experts such as Rafael Ebron, a former product manager for Firefox and Netscape.

"Firefox is 4 years old and includes a lot of the enterprise features from the work we did at Netscape. And there's still plenty of work to be done," he said in an e-mail. "Google Chrome will need to include those same features and support to be considered for deployment."

Some are even more critical.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?