back to article Microsoft wants to show enterprises that Edge means business, rather than the thing you use to download Chrome

In an effort to woo businesses to its latest take on the browser, Microsoft has unveiled an enterprise roadmap and release schedule for the Beta and Stable channels of Edge. The former is intended to give administrators an idea of what the company is planning to do next with its Chromium-based browser for the purposes of the …

  1. jon909

    New Edge = Chrome with Office 365 login

    Well I guess at least now we don't have to have separate logins for Office 365 and our browser, just for the sake of syncing favorites, history and passwords.

    No if only Microsoft could share encrypted vaults between office 365 users then I can also say bye-bye to my pricey Lastpass business subscription.

    1. MatthewSt Bronze badge

      Re: New Edge = Chrome with Office 365 login

      Bitwarden is a good alternative to a LastPass subscription. Supports single sign on with Azure AD

      1. Hubert Cumberdale

        Re: New Edge = Chrome with Office 365 login

        I vote for KeePassXC, but I guess it's not very businessy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New Edge = Chrome with Office 365 login

      Wait for the first Edge hack that gets everything.

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    New Edge, now with even more spyware

    The New Edge keeps running even after you thought you shut it down. I guess OOShutup will need to add a whole bunch of new stuff to keep it in check.

    1. gotes

      Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

      So, rather like Chrome does?

      30 seconds looking in settings:

      System -> Continue running background apps when Edge is closed

      (I do not use Edge, apart from doing this "fact checking" exercise)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

        Assume you mean 'new edge', because there is no such option in old edge (legacy), as far as I can see (local account), and the choice of search is greyed out, locked to Bing in Windows 10 2004. Edge Legacy still leaves instances running in the background, even when the user didn't open edge 'purposely'.

        Justifying something because Google (or if any competitor does it), doesn't make acceptable, either. That's just a slippery slope to the bottom.

        There is clearly a right and wrong way of doing things in terms of 'crossing that line' and if things have become so blurry for Microsoft in that regard, then clearly Microsoft need to take a step back.

        1. gotes

          Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

          Yes, new Edge, as that's what the article was about.

          I wasn't "justifying" the behaviour at all. I am not a fan of it, but it can be turned off in both browsers, so it's not really a big deal to me.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

          Justifying something because Google (or if any competitor does it), doesn't make acceptable, either. That's just a slippery slope to the bottom.

          True, but singling something out for criticism when it's is not alone in its transgression is also a bit rubbish.

    2. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

      Yep. there's a few things that won't fully quit out when you close their GUI window.

      Like Calculator.

      The Settings App

      pretty much and of the 'modern' apps, I suspect. instead, they hide their window, and go into a suspended state, on the assumption that you are running a mobile device and need to resume them again, which is stupid. especially with such a dinky app like the calculator...

      (on a barely related tangent- Apple, why did you not release a calculator app for IOS? Why are you forcing up to find a (questionable) 3rd party app, or go through the laborious task of creating a new Numbers document when all I wanted to do was some simple math without having to track down a calculator, or get my iphone, which *HAS* a calculator app?? /rant)

      1. [VtS]Alf

        Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

        And exactly that is what happening with Win10. There is a list of programs/apps (uwp) you used recently. When you minimize it, it is being ‘snapshotted’ in the state it was in and kept in a hybernate state. Thus it can open your window ‘instantly’, because it wakes is from the hibernation state.

        And yes, it does this with calc.exe too, because all executed programs are treated in the same way. Now, that you don’t care if calc.exe is kept in memory/hybernation, doesn’t mean that the mechanism is wrong. It treats your calc.exe with the same importance as ‘photoshop.exe’ or ‘illustrator.exe’. Yes, more RAM equals better performance this way. On the other hand, who doesn’t have 4-8GB RAM in their work desktop? And 8-16GB in your private PC probably.

        Less RAM means less programs that are kept in hybernation (it saves the state to disk and closes the program where possible).

        Now to get more on topic with your comment; You seem to use iDevices with iOS. You might even use an Android device as well. Those OS-es do exactly the same. Granted, you mentioned that mobile OS-es do this, but why should a desktop OS not do the same?

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

          Tangential again, but I watching a YouTube video about PinePhone which is some new Linux powered phone and under Ubuntu it took a full SIX SECONDS from tapping the icon for the calculator to launch. I immediately knew this phone was screwed because if a simple calculator app takes that long then the entire user experience is going to be awful.

          User perception matters a lot and if that means preloading apps, or bundling them in a way that means they launch faster than that's what a modern GUI needs to do. I do find it incredibly annoying for software to lurk around after it has been told to quit though since I might be quitting it because it has gone haywire and is interfering with the CPU.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

        iOS doesn’t have a calculator app, but your iPhone does? That makes no sense. iOS is the OS on your iPhone.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

          iOS has loads of calculator apps available, just not an Apple one.

          iOS on iPhone has a built in calculator that is accessed through the shortcuts. Ordinary one in portrait scientific in landscape.

          But iOS on iPad doesn't seem to have it.

      3. Diogenes

        Re: New Edge, now with even more spyware

        You do know that google and bing will do math including unit conversions (sadly not El Reg units ) for you ?

  3. Don Dumb
    Terminator

    Leopards and their spots

    I wonder if the uptick in Edge is at all linked to the recent update which forced itself on the user. Going as far as a splashpage on system startup which couldn't be deactivated by any normal command (no 'X' in the corner).

    The splashpage both attempted to make itself default, again noting the page couldn't be deactivated normally and take bookmarks and history from other browsers.

    I avoided it by killing it from task manager but how many users would have just clicked on 'yes' to get the page to go away, being as there was no other exit

    Just like the good old days...

    1. wegie

      Re: Leopards and their spots

      Yeah. That bastard barfed all over my screen last week, and could only be removed by the old-fashioned three-fingered salute. It then immediately anchored itself to the task bar. Not *exactly* what I'd call giving the user an informed choice.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Leopards and their spots

      Hmm... here, I got the Edge update screen, but I was able to have Firefox remain my default web browser. New Edge is installed, yes, but it doesn’t run, I checked in various process tracker apps from Task Manager up. What is annoying is that if I try to use the web version of an Office app, usually by accident as I hate the web versions, Edge launches. If I fire up certain help items, Edge launches. Basically Edge launches when I go near most things Microsoft. I have to keep killing it, and the bumf it leaves behind. This does not endear it to me.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Leopards and their spots

      I think that would be the main reason for any uptick. Personally I see the switch to Chromium as Microsoft giving up trying to persuade sites to work well with their older engine(s). It must be an administrative nightmare for businesses using Windows 10 though.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I maybe stuck in my ways but...

    I maybe stuck in my ways but I've got to the point of downloading the offline installer of Firefox to a USB using another machine, so that I don't ever open new edge or old edge, if I really need a new Windows 10 install. If Microsoft had any faith in Edge's ability as a browser to stand on its own two feet or any real faith in its longevity, they wouldn't need to forcefully tie the search engine to Bing in Windows 10 2004.

    I think I speak for the many here, but I'm so fed up with what, in any other form of life would be classed an 'abusive relationship', being played out by Microsoft.

    It's the same with the drip-drip over-arching pushiness to force login into Windows using a Microsoft Account, rather than a local account.

    In 2020, it's really not a good look, Microsoft.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

      If they want to fix that, then all they need to create an easy way to remove Edge and block its installation.

      It's not rocket science, but for some reason the Microsoft managers really seem to want to rerun the Internet Explorer anti-trust lawsuits all over again.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

      I rarely used Bing even before Microsoft tried to tie it to Edge. Now I never use Bing. Keep up the good work, there, Microsoft.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale

        Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

        I cringe at every little thing that MS does to try to be down with the kids while ending up sounding at best like an uncool dad and at worst like a creepy uncle. Not sure what I mean? Just Bing it.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

        I don't know, Bing has it's uses. Such as when I have to send yet another complaint to Google, I suggest they could do a search for the technical solution through Bing.

    3. tony72

      Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

      I recently switched from Firefox to Edgemium as my primary browser. Microsoft's other sins aside, and they'll probably **** it up eventually, but right now it's a good browser. I'd been using Firefox since the 0.x days, but its glory days are over.

    4. DemeterLast

      Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

      I'm just waiting for whatever new version of ActiveX MS comes up with so they can integrate it with Edge and relive the salad days of Internet Explorer again.

      Web devs are already exhausted trying to keep up with the treadmill of random GoogBook crap, they may actually fall for it if it means never having to deal with React and node.js again.

    5. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: I maybe stuck in my ways but...

      "I maybe stuck in my ways but I've got to the point of downloading the offline installer of Firefox to a USB using another machine, so that I don't ever open new edge or old edge"

      ---

      If you are that paranoid then you can ftp.mozzila.org or use WSL to curl one out.

  5. Lee D Silver badge

    I dunno, but can you stop bundling it into Windows Update and then force-installing (despite previous uninstallation) and then making itself the default browser?

    Otherwise I'm just going to have to track down that nice woman at the EU again, because I've had a Windows 10 laptop for precisely days and it's already pissing me off.

    No choice - turned on machine, it was installed. I uninstalled. I rebooted. Windows Update put it back on, pinned to taskbar and had it try to steal my default. Uninstalled. Few days later, another batch of updates. Rebooted. Same thing.

    I wouldn't mind but I have literally no intention to ever use it, ever. Stop it.

    I've spend the last few days doing nothing but researching how to turn off self-pinning apps (an XML file in your user profile can force them back on every reboot, apparently), apps that load but don't appear in startup, and apps that want to be in the taskbar for no discernible reason. And uninstalling crap I will never need, and if anyone knows how to move/rename the Windows Administrative Tools folder, I'd be most grateful, it's messing up my career-long folder organisation of my start menu (Yep, Open Shell, because that other thing is just a heap of junk to try to use).

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      You might be able to create your own shortcuts to some Administrative Tools or to the folder, if you want to be able to launch them from somewhere else on your system.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale

        Don't forget God Mode

        I find it quite useful.

    2. poohbear

      You might find Linux better behaved.

      1. Snapper

        You'd certainly find macOS better behaved.

    3. Binraider

      You're not alone. Win10 is an utter dogs breakfast that sacrifices the user's sanity in the name of deploying ever more spyware. Bugger that. If you need to run Windows executables in Windows environment, at minimal cost; go and get a Server 2019 trial. 180 days. Install it with the desktop mode; disable server manager; enable audio service, uninstall IE, add a copy of Firefox. Done.

      Certain device drivers can be finicky under server 2019; particularly embedded chipset networking is poorly supported by Intel. A separate NIC solves that. Consumer radeon drivers can be installed by pointing device manager to use the folder with the installer in (though the installer itself refuses to play).

      Low and behold; the resulting system is more or less what I'd want for an enthusiast update release of Windows 7.

      Microsoft trying to charge me again post-gfx card change for a license for windows was the last straw and I won't be buying their product ever again short of a COMPLETE change of direction. I do encourage others to do the same.

      1. GerryMC

        Don't know about GPU changes, but I replaced my motherboard and CPU (Intel -> AMD), and Windows complained, but gave me an option to say that there had been hardware changes.

        1. Binraider

          On calling the MS hell-desk; they were quite insistent that new GPU were a new PC and have to buy a new license. NOPE!

          Honestly had it with such shenanigans, it amazes me that so many go along with it. Then again, I don't use laptops with a 3 year throwaway lifecycle that seems to be the default for the uninformed.

  6. mmm_yeah
    FAIL

    Enterprise?

    If you manage O365 for your organization, you might want to think twice before deploying Edge, since your users won’t be able to sync their browser settings without an Azure Information Protection P1 license. A standalone AIP P1 license costs $5 per user per month. Depending on your license structure, it can be quite expensive.

    Oh, I already checked, and settings-sync-for-everyone isn’t on their roadmap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @mmm_yeah - Re: Enterprise?

      That's the whole point! Bring money to Microsoft.

    2. Fuzz

      Re: Enterprise?

      This is so stupid. This basic feature requires an expensive add-on to your licensing. I don't understand the logic and most people at Microsoft don't seem to either. It looks like they've implemented a secure way of doing sync where the enterprise can be in control of the encryption keys and in doing so broken the simple way. The Android version of edge will quite happily let you sync with a basic o365 account.

  7. Chris Hills

    Wrong foot

    If they want that, then they really made a mistake by forgetting what happened in the 90's when they lost a big anti-trust for abusing their position to disadvantage Netscape. They should have offered it as an optional download, but instead they have forcibly installed it on every computer they can, which in my books make it malware.

  8. Maximum Delfango
    Facepalm

    Oh God.

    Edge has four channels: Stable, which is stable like Donald Trump is stable, and of course doesn't work at all but at least it doesn't work in a fairly constant way; Beta, which is more broken than Dominic Cummings's moral compass; Dev, which is updated weekly as if anyone gave a shit, and still remains irreparably broken and useless; and the daily "bleeding edge" Canary builds, the software equivalent of repeatedly rubbing your eyes with broken glass and wondering why everything hurts and looks all red.

  9. Marty McFly
    Trollface

    Puleeese!

    We wanna monetize the user with the browser. The user is ours, give them baaaack.

  10. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Special Chrome button?

    Maybe if they had a button labelled "download and install chrome automatically" it would take some of the pain out of new computer setup

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Special Chrome button?

      Wasn't there some kind of browser selection screen that Microsoft was supposed to implement? I would gladly take a button labeled "Install Firefox and then fuck off for all eternity."

  11. Jay 2

    In the middle of a Win10 migration at work and Edge has been disabled by group policy. IE and Chrome only (which is a bit annoying as I'm an FF guy).

    1. Def Silver badge
      Facepalm

      So your IT department is content to send telemetry data to both Google and Microsoft? That's nice of them.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Well, if they are running windows 10 enterprise, then the only telemetry it's sending back to microsoft is the 'security' level, which is probably the only reason why MS is selling that level of windows 10 to begin with... (and it's a premium, I can assure you...)

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      IE? Your I.T. department is incompetent.

      1. Jay 2

        I'd probably lay the blame on InfoSec for that one!

      2. Daleos

        There are still some specialist SAS services around that rely on Silverlight. I often have to enable IE just so some clunky niche CRM can talk to Office 365 or Adobe Acrobat. These people doesn't actually use IE as a browser, it's there just so they can access those niche services. Besides, I don't know a single company that doesn't use multiple browsers for differen tasks.

  12. Joe Gurman

    Wha....? Microsoft is till trying to foist a browser off on people?

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 319

    And falling

  14. Binraider

    First thing that's uninstalled from Server2019 as a desktop. IE. And no edge in the install either. Copy of Firefox standalone installer brought over from the network instead.

    Want to make your software appealing to business? Stop making it harder than ever to manage with stupid activation and licensing policies.

  15. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Downloader

    Using Edge as nothing more than a way to download Google Chrome? HELL no. I use Edge as a way to download Firefox.

    (actually, if I can, I just copy over some Chocolatey scripts to a new machine and automatically download/install everything I want that way)

  16. C. P. Cosgrove
    Thumb Up

    Don't shoot - I quite like Edge !

    Forbye all the above, Edge is a pretty good browser. I certainly prefer it to Chrome if only because I can get it to run the way I want it to which is something I have totally failed to achieve with Chrome.

    Yes, FF is my default, has been for years, but Edge is a pretty slick browser and as far as I can see works well and safely. I mainly use it on one US web-site where the GDPR notification has gone crazy. Instead of just coming up once when you log in it comes up every second page at the moment in FF, only the once you would expect in Edge. Since I am a Mod on that forum and am bouncing around from one page to another this is annoying !

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Don't shoot - I quite like Edge !

      Just use Chrome, then.

      1. GerryMC

        Re: Don't shoot - I quite like Edge !

        Just use a browser I have always disliked? Why should I.

        Mind you FF seems to be trying to copy the "features" of the Chrome UI I dislike.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Don't shoot - I quite like Edge !

      When it comes to MS products, actual objectivity is a big NO on Register forums. You must engage 100% sanctimony mode before commenting, regardless of veracity.

  17. John Savard Silver badge

    Wrong Use for Edge

    Microsoft Edge, like Internet Explorer before it, to me is primarily the thing I use to download Firefox. If, some time later, I actually want Chrome on my computer as well, I'll download it with Firefox like everything else.

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