With SharePoint 2010 SP1 support for Chrome and new support on reports and scorecards for iPad on iOS5 with the December CU… It’s definitely time to revisit Browser support. Please refer to "Plan Browser support (SharePoint 2010)" and "Plan for mobile devices" for the latest Official Microsoft details. I think it’s absolutely fabulous that Microsoft is now listing Firefox on Linux and Mac and Safari on Mac in the supportability Matrix, but what does this mean? What does supported with limitations mean? Please read on! You’ll find recommendations that go beyond the detail you’ll get on the TechNet site. If you see anything that’s incorrect please comment or tweet me and I’ll update it immediately. @joeloleson
Update: 3/16/12 Added details on iPad, more detail on Firefox and recommendations around avoiding the 64bit versions of IE. Also added that IE 10 beta works just fine in my testing, despite lack of unofficial support. You can anticipate that it will be supported at the release of IE 10.
OS/Browser Supportability Matrix
(Some details above summarized from TechNet Plan Browser Support on 3/16/2012. I also added some additional recommendations of my own.
You want the truth. You want to know what really doesn’t work on SharePoint. Let me give you the ugly details. I’ve been wanting a browser matrix for a long time. Some may point you to the TechNet charts for browser support and the tables upon tables of what doesn’t work. I finally broke down and created one. I held onto this data for quite a while, but decided, it’s better to talk openly about this… (Let me know if you see anything that needs correction. This is not meant to be a complete picture, it’s designed to focus on the problem areas most commonly encountered. For example, I am not pointing out that there is some Silverlight built into SharePoint 2010 for the org chart and on the site template and list picker that will fall back to a more simple interface if the browser does not have Silverlight installed
Browser & OS Matrix: Problem Areas
* There are issues with prompt for login on many other browsers where both IE and Chrome provide an integrated seamless login. I’ll be doing a blog post devoted to this topic. Firefox supports configuring the browser to pass the credentials with SPNego. Here are the steps for configuring firefox for the seemless login. I don’t refer to this as single sign on, since this is basically taking the NT credentials and passing them to the browser to SharePoint.
** Opera is simply not tested and actually had even basic issues of trying to work with site settings. Most browsing was acceptable… I guess. That is until I needed to hit a drop down menu. The Office web apps had partial functionality, but a lot of drop downs again caused usability issues. I say don’t support it if you can avoid it.
If you’re a little surprised by how many issues IE 64 bit version has, it has to do directly with the number of ActiveX controls that are not 64 bit compatible. Most ActiveX controls, such as those included in Microsoft Office 2010 and leveraged by SharePoint 2010 do not work with 64-bit browser versions. There are actually only two that do. ppslax.dll – Slide library and PowerPoint 2010 integration and name.dll – Presence information
With Windows Phone 7 please follow this guidance in relation to the App referenced above: "Microsoft SharePoint Workspace Mobile 2010, which is part of Microsoft Office Mobile 2010, is available on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 6.5. SharePoint Workspace Mobile 2010 enables users to connect to a SharePoint site by using the Office Hub instead of the mobile browser. The following list describes planning considerations for SharePoint Workspace Mobile and Windows Phone 7:
- Forefront UAG is the only VPN that is supported by Windows Phone 7.
- NTLM is the only authentication method that is supported by SharePoint Workspace Mobile for intranet sites.
- SharePoint Workspace Mobile does not support directly connecting to sites in the Internet zone."
More Information on Plan mobile browsers on TechNet
The user experience isn’t always a poor one with these alternate browsers. Most of the time, you’ll find the options are grayed out, so it isn’t a fully jarring experience.
Figure: Chrome Document Library SharePoint Ribbon
For example: You can see in this chrome SharePoint Document library ribbon that "Datasheet view," "Sync to SharePoint Workspace," "Connect to Office," and "Open with Explorer" are grayed out and are all unavailable. I can connect to Outlook which did work, as did Excel. I have seen the export to excel lit up, and it still fail and tell me I need a compatible browser. Good experience? I don’t think we are there yet, and I think that’s why we put added pressure on Microsoft.
What is the best alternative browser?
I’m telling people that the best alternative to Internet Explorer is Chrome. Can you believe it? Despite what I just said, these may not be that common for most users. Over Firefox you get a seamless login, No prompt by default. You get Export to excel, connect to Outlook, and I bet even Office Web Apps works better post SP1 because of the special focus. Someone asked me… How often do you really need to do multi file upload. Hmmm. I do like the ability to use explorer view. Well, I’m not uninstalling IE, but I do like end up switching between the two. Here are some responses on twitter:
@skifaster123: I use IE, Chrome, FF in that order. IE for most sites. Chrome is super fast when in browsing/research mode. FF for dev work.
@stephenzshwartz: i use ff with ie tab add-in.
>>Joel: (I hear that!)
What do you think? Chime in on twitter to @joeloleson