Where’s the new Edge browser anyways?

Fresh back from some extremely enjoyable downtime over the holidays, I was alarmed to hear that the new Edge browser was going to be automatically installed on all of our PCs on January 15th through Windows Update. As much as I am looking forward to incorporating this new browser into our ecosystem, I was not at all ready to deliver such a big change to our users without managing the rollout in any way.

That said, it was a relief to find out that the browser was not going to be automatically deployed to MDM-managed PCs just yet. I’m all for Modern Management, but automatically deploying a new browser was pushing even me too far!

I thought that I would take the time to share a few thoughts that I have about the new browser.

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Positive Thoughts:

-It’s Chromium based so theoretically, all applications that currently run well in Chrome will run well in this browser.

-It will (eventually) come pre-installed on Windows 10 so there won’t be any need to do additional work to get it there.

-All of the policies that we’ve come to enjoy and expect for Internet Explorer and the old Edge browser will be available.

-If we can get all of our web applications working in the new Edge browser then theoretically we could block Chrome and Firefox installs thus reducing the need to manage those browsers as well. (I just point out now that I personally have nothing against Chrome. Chrome is a fantastic browser. It is the most used browser in the world of PCs!)

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Less Positive Thoughts:

-The CSP policies require the use of ADMX files. As you know from my previous post about Custom ADMX, it is kind of a chore to push policies like this. It’s not impossible, it’s just not as easy as the MDM policies that we currently have for IE and the old Edge.

-I’m not sure how quickly Add-ons will be made available. Since Chrome add-ons are so popular, this is a piece of the change that I’m still uncomfortable about. (Mostly due to lack of understanding on my part!)

-This whole browser thing is such a back office point of interest. Users really won’t know the difference between the old Edge and this new one except that (fingers crossed) it will work better and they won’t feel like they need to install Chrome on their business computers.

All in all, I’m exciting about 2020 and whether this new Edge browser can help us to trim down the number of browsers that we are supporting.

I hope that you are excited too!

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