Two posts on Mark Oehlert’s blog caught my eye today. In his post about Ubiquity user-generated mashups plugin for Firefox browser, Mark wonders why organizations standardize on IE when a much better product is available at the same cost (free). I responded on his blog and realized this could be a post of its own.
As I wrote in my post on why workplace learning is largely 1.0, here are some of the reasons for organizations standardizing on IE:
- I guess the fact that the OS comes preloaded with a browser might have something to do with this.
- We are lazy and don’t really want to take the pain of installing a new browser, especially when we don’t know the advantages.
- We are too lazy to learn new tools. After all just installing Firefox is not enough. Vanilla Firefox will not provide the advantages that it does with plugins added.
- We don’t pay attention to teaching using tools like a ‘browser’. Have you ever seen training on browser on any corporate productivity improvement training? Good case for ‘Work Literacy‘ like initiatives!!!
- The new plugins (like the Ubiquity) don’t come with “business” or “corporate” examples in their videos. Heck I won’t be able to make a good business case with the above video of showing that Firefox will improve productivity when the video talks about using mash ups to identify restaurants near you.
- Applications run only on IE. Many (I am guessing all though I haven’t tested all) internal application in our organization don’t run very well on Firefox. So I need to have both browsers even though I use Firefox as my main browser of use.
- In any case we don’t want employees to fritter away their time browsing. After all they should be doing something productive like work rather than browsing.
Wearing a corporate hat, having Firefox instead of IE has no advantage unless I integrate my training, applications and way of working to take advantage of the new tool. And, again wearing a corporate hat, perhaps the advantage is not worth the effort, or we don’t know about it.
Personally I started using Firefox primarily because IE 7 was hanging on me more often than I liked, and haven’t looked back since (except when I need to use internal applications). However I have seen a sum total of only one other person in our organization using Firefox.