Microsoft is rumored to be planning an “enterprise mode for IE” feature for Internet Explorer 11 to address compatibility issues faced by organizations. The claim comes from veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, citing unnamed sources in an article published today. If true, Microsoft may at last be paving the way for addressing a key migration problem that organizations face, namely, how to upgrade Windows while still maintaining line-of-business Web applications built on Microsoft’s older browser technologies.
As Microsoft has seen with Windows XP, it’s not just users’ operating system dependencies that can keep them from upgrading; it’s their browser dependencies, too. The same way that IE6 was the browser that Microsoft built into Windows XP — and around which many business customers standardized — IE8 is the browser variant that Microsoft integrated into Windows 7, which is the newer version of Windows favored by many business users. Similar to the case with Windows XP, many businesses have built and certified line-of-business apps specifically for the Windows 7/IE8 combination.