04 April 2012

The Myth about SharePoint Browser Support

Microsoft posted a blog entry today that pointed readers to SharePoint’s browser support page on TechNet.  In this post, they detail what browsers SharePoint supports and any specific support limitations.  However, I want to raise an important point that seems to be missing from the conversation: browser support isn’t entirely about SharePoint.

Unfortunately, what most everyone fails to mention is that browser support is actually a combination of what Microsoft supplies and the solution that you’ve built.  In other words, Microsoft’s support, or lack thereof, for specific browsers is limited to Microsoft-supplied interfaces.  Depending on the type of solution you’ve developed, much more of your solution’s browser capability could be dependent on your development than on Microsoft’s.

Here’s a quote from TechNet:

“For publishing sites, the Web Content Management features built into SharePoint Server 2010 provide a deep level of control over the markup and styling of the reader experience. Page designers can use these features to help ensure that the pages they design are compatible with additional browsers, including Internet Explorer 6, for viewing content. However, page designers are responsible for creating pages that are compatible with the browsers that they want to support.

Obviously, this quote relates specifically to publishing sites; primarily those internet-facing sites that are primarily content serving sites as opposed to more collaborative/intranet/extranet kind of sites.  However, even in the case of sites built with other site definitions (like Team Sites), browser support can and will be affected by new master pages, custom web parts or other components supplied by you or 3rd parties.

The myth here is that SharePoint’s support for specific browsers is somehow exclusively Microsoft’s domain.  In fact, true browser compatibility is a combination of Microsoft supplied interfaces (that are used in your solution) and those solution-specific interfaces that you or a vendor create.


Browser Support said...

Very Informative and helpful post..

Jason Kemp said...

SharePoint 2010 works best with up-to-date, standards-based web browsers but the thing is that there is only one browser i.e Internet Explorer that fits to the requirements of the SharePoint.

Shawn said...


The underlying SharePoint interfaces (those shipped by Microsoft and not often replaced by a developer) do tend to work, in some cases, better with IE (e.g. uploading multiple files). However, the point of the post is that since SharePoint really is a platform, the interfaces the developer builds on top of the platform are responsible for browser compatibility; it has less to do with what Microsoft ships.

To that end, it's also problematic to talk about "SharePoint" as the end solution. Most of the time, anyone who uses "SharePoint" has constructed a purpose-built application; in this way, it's not really SharePoint, but that organization's solution.

William Moore said...

Awesome post through Microsoft about "SharePoint". This post is very helpful specifically for designers now IE shall well support all type of websites.