Line-of-business applications have become increasingly web-based in recent years, moving away from traditional ‘heavy client’ applications. This makes the web browser an essential part of day to day functions for the modern information worker. Significant growth of line-of-business (LOB) web applications occurred early in the new millennium when usage of Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) was particularly strong. Consequently, the custom and off-the-shelf web applications deployed by most organizations were built for, and ultimately dependent on, Microsoft’s proprietary and now outdated and insecure browser platform. Additionally, legacy web applications tend to rely on other legacy plug-ins for full functionality, including older versions of Oracle’s Java and Adobe’s Reader ActiveX controls.
During the past decade increased competition helped the browser market mature, drove innovation and solidified the broad adoption of web standards. The latest versions of all major web browsers are built around these web standards – not proprietary platforms – so many older web applications no longer work properly. Until recently, keeping those old applications working meant staying with older browsers, creating redundant, virtualized infrastructure to support older browsers, or re-writing all IE6-dependent applications. Those painful choices have made it difficult for many enterprises to adopt new technologies that make the organization work faster and better.
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