Monday, December 09, 2013

Why doesn't the site work with Chrome?

I was contacted by a user needing his login credentials for my firm's Intranet site.  This user is a part time employee because he's a full time college student.  The specific technology used to host the site is SharePoint and Microsoft recommends that visitors use Internet Explorer.

What was interesting about this instance was that this particular person never considered using IE for the site, he just naturally launched an instance of Chrome, logged into the site and started working until he ran into a few things that simply didn't work.  I walked over to his desk to make sure he got into the site and reminded him about using IE.  The look on his face was priceless - why doesn't the site work with Chrome?  When it comes to IT vendors, Microsoft means as much to younger workers as does IBM, HP, Dell, whatever.  They are, for the most part, vendor neutral and don't care because they just want things to work.  When they visit a site (typically on a tablet or mobile phone or it might also be a laptop) they just want it to function.  They don't care about the plumbing of the Internet, they don't care about the device that they're using or what service they subscribe to, they just want it to work.

What does this mean for people like me, in an IT leadership position that sits between the end users and those technology vendors that run the Internet?  I think that IT leaders fall into the same category as the end users.  Tech companies need to produce devices & services that are vendor agnostic.  This is going to be a hard, but necessary lesson for Microsoft to learn.  Of course it's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

- Rob

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