Microsoft recently released Internet Explorer 10. Some people who surf the web using IE were excited about the news, but it raises an important question to think about: which browser do you use.

You probably know that the most common browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Apple Safari. But did you know that certain versions of different browsers can give you a different online experience?

For example, if you are reading your Embry-Riddle email through Outlook Web Access (also known as OWA) in Internet Explorer, a preview of your newest message will appear in a reading pane on the screen; if you access OWA through Firefox, no preview of your message will appear. The main menu view along the left-hand column is also displayed a bit differently.

If you are staunchly loyal to a certain browser, it is important to know that there can be variances in performance based on which version you use. For example, if you access software tools through Citrix in ERNIE, IE 10 may create log-in or page-load errors. Using IE 8 or IE 9 could be the solution for you. Or, you may want to use an entirely different browser; Firefox, in this case, is recommended.

Sites that are “recommended,” are just that: recommended for an optimal, A-grade user experience. If you find that a website is “supported” by certain browsers, this means that means that generally the site is tested and that most, if not all, of the site’s features will be available to the user.

Many websites are built using what are called “Web Standards.” This means that they are created using standard web features or programming. There are, however, incidents where not all content in every site is cross-browser or cross-platform compatible. Because of this, using different browsers for different sites can be commonplace. If you are trying to view an embedded video from a website, for example, but you cannot get the video to play…perhaps you may want to try a different browser. Maybe you are trying to export a report from a web-based application, and the window will not launch the report. A quick fix may be to try to run the report in a different browser.

So the next time you are not getting the best view of your online content, you may want to ask yourself: which browser am I using? Or you may want to add a new browser for your viewing pleasure.

To access the Embry-Riddle Browser Compatibility Matrix, go to: ERNIE>Information Technology>Getting Help, then choose Supported Browsers from the right-side menu.

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