Feeds

Top firms' websites not ready for IE7

Browser trips up 13% of FTSE 100 company sites

Top three mobile application threats

A survey has found that 13 per cent of the UK's biggest companies did not have their websites ready for the launch of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), the first new version of Microsoft's market-leading browser since IE6 launched back in 2001.

IE browsers are used by 80 per cent of internet users, said usability consultancy Etre, which carried out the survey on companies in the FTSE 100 index of leading UK listed companies.

"On Friday 20 October – just two days after IE7 was released – we kicked off a short internal study," said a statement from Etre. "We fired up two machines and compared the homepages of all one hundred FTSE 100 companies in both IE6 and IE7. Were these companies ready for IE7? Were their sites bent badly out of shape? Or has this all been a big fuss over nothing?"

The company found that the websites of 13 out of the FTSE 100 companies faced some sort of problem relating to IE7. "Problems ranged from warped page layouts (Alliance and Leicester) to small presentation glitches (Hanson)," it said.

The companies whose sites faced some problems were: Alliance and Leicester, BHP Billiton, BP, British Energy Group, Compass Group, Hanson, Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock, Sage Group, Shire Pharmaceuticals Group, Standard Life, Unilever, and Yell Group.

Though Etre admitted this was not necessarily a statistically significant enough sample with which to extrapolate to the whole internet, it said that if the same proportions of general websites suffered problems as FTSE 100 company websites did, then 12.7 million sites will need some work as a result of the release of IE7.

Microsoft has been warning that the engine inside IE7 is quite different to that inside IE6, and that companies need to test their web pages against the new browser.

The release of IE7 is likely to have a massive effect because it is being installed via Windows' "automatic update" feature, so will become the default browser on millions of computers simultaneously. That update happens on Wednesday 1 November.

Surprisingly, though, it may be the FTSE 100 companies' unwillingness to embrace internet site standards, which are designed to ease accessibility and usability, which prevented the problem from being more severe.

"It is worth pointing out, however, that the general lack of adherence to web standards among the FTSE 100 companies may have insulated them somewhat from IE7's various bugs and glitches," said the Etre statement. "IE7 tends to struggle most with standards-compliant sites – particularly those using hacks and filters to achieve decent presentation in IE6. Given that most sites aren't standards-compliant, however, we think our results are pretty representative."

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.