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CIOs not taking a shine to Chrome

It may be too soon for businesses to switch from Internet Explorer, but execs hope Google's browser could spur Microsoft to up its game.

Despite the hype, it seems few IT teams are testing Google's recently launched Web browser Chrome--yet.

In Silicon.com's latest exclusive CIO Jury poll, the respondents revealed that they were still steering clear of the application, with 10 out of 12 saying their IT teams are not testing it.

Many in the "no" camp attributed their lack of Chrome testing to their IT infrastructures being set up to run with Internet Explorer as the default browser. Google unveiled Chrome at the start of September.

Chrome gallery
Click image for full Chrome gallery. Robert Vamosi/CNET Networks; Google

Nic Evans, European IT director at Key Equipment Finance, said: "Too many business applications are only certified for Internet Explorer to consider any alternatives so soon."

One respondent, however, hoped that the advent of Chrome will force Microsoft to up its game in the browser market.

Iain Hepburn, IT director at law firm Clarke Willmott, added: "We use MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) and extensive other MS applications and development tools, so we pretty much live in a MS world and have to use IE to get full functionality. We will be watching with interest though and any competition which forces everyone (MS) to raise their game is good for the consumer. We await the release of IE8 and what that may bring."

For the public sector, the issue of using Chrome may be academic, as IT leaders there may have to take a lead from the central government security gatekeepers.

Andrew Watson, CIO at the British Transport Police, said: "We are not testing Chrome. Partly because the Internet is such a potential security risk, we would take our steer off of CESG (the Information Assurance arm of the Government Communications HQ) about its suitability for use in secure government environments."

But those who have tested the browser did have praise for it.

Peter Pedersen, CTO of clothes retailer Figleaves.com, said: "(We've had) good results so far--far more friendly on the PC memory than IE."

Although his IT team isn't testing Chrome, Key Equipment Finance's Evans added that he had experimented with the Google app himself, describing it as "a more clean and efficient browser."

Other CIO Jury participants who said they are not seriously testing Chrome as a business browser added that they intend to watch the browser's development, possibly with a view to adopting it in the future.

One CIO who is testing Chrome, however, queried the business support that Google is able to provide.

Andy Jackson, head of IT for business-to-business media group Huveaux, said: "We could have done with Google providing us with a technical channel for questions and updates to minimize the impact of the announcement on the development team."

Taking part in this CIO Jury were:

• Chris Broad, head of IS and Technology, UKAEA
• Pete Crowe, IT director, Fat Face
• Nic Evans, European IT director, Key Equipment Finance
• Madhushan Gokool, IT manager, Storm Model Management
• Paul Haley, director of IT, Aberdeen University
• Iain Hepburn, IT director, Clarke Willmott
• Peter Pedersen, CTO, figleaves.com
• Richard Storey, head of IT, Guys & St Thomas' Hospital
• Andrew Watson, CIO, British Transport Police
• Jane Kimberlin, IT director, Domino's Pizza Group
• Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
• Andy Jackson, head of IT, Huveaux

Julian Goldsmith of Silicon.com reported from London.