One thing is bothering me though. I keep hearing how IE8 is making great strides and that IE6 is finally dying off. I read numerous articles this week covering the NetApplications
January 2010 report, which revealed how IE8 has now overtaken IE6 in terms of market share. Whenever I see such data I ask myself what the sample population is. Generally, such data is collected from server logs. As such, it represents a broad spectrum of end users, including both corporate and personal web traffic. I have long believed that individuals are more likely to upgrade web browsers than corporations. Afterall, we all want the latest features and software upgrades are just a click away. Corporations on the other hand don't generally allow users to decide what software runs on their desktop and from a security perspective, they shouldn't. They also tend to focus on concerns over breaking functionality, often to the detriment of security. What I'm interested in is seeing the percentage of browser market share for only corporate users. This is something that Zscaler is in a strong position to answer. We sell an enterprise offering, so our clients tend to be corporations or government entities. Being a SaaS offering, any web capable device can utilize the Zscaler cloud and certainly some enterprises have traffic from user owned/controlled devices (personal laptops and smartphones) running through the cloud as well, but it's fair to say that overall, our view of the world is primarily enterprise traffic as opposed to personal traffic. I therefore ran a query to determine the results of web browser usage on our network for all of Q4 2009. As you can see, our results are very different than the results from NetApplications. From October to December 2009, 72.21% of the traffic that we saw came from IE browsers. The pie chart breaks this traffic down to reveal the individual versions of IE encountered. Not only is IE6 still in the lead but IE8 is barely on the map, a finding vastly different from the NetApplications stats which show IE8 in the lead. My conclusion? Enterprises are not moving away from IE6 as quickly as the web population as a whole.
Let's hope that recent events such as Operation Aurora and Google's stand to drop IE6 support cause enterprises to better understand the urgency of this issue. Let's further hope that Microsoft puts IE6 out to pasture once and for all.