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.