Microsoft released a new version of it’s Edge web browser based on the Chromium engine. This is the same engine that powers Google’s chrome browser. While it seems strange at first for Microsoft to use tech that’s from an outside source, it’s another indication that this is a new Microsoft willing to make radical changes if needed to stay competitive. This decision turns out to be advantageous to Enterprise customers.
I should state that these thoughts are based on the public beta. Microsoft offers a few choices for how often you wish to update it and stay on the cutting edge. The software can be downloaded from this link https://www.microsoftedgeinsider.com/en-us/download/
After a few days of use, I can report that it works better than I expected for pre-release software. I was most concerned with internal corporate sites where I typically use either Edge or Internet Explorer. I know that it’s not always needed, but I remember the days where Microsoft sites rendered better with Microsoft browsers.
Having a browser that ships with the OS which is capable of rendering correctly the majority of internal and external websites is something that Enterprise IT has been lacking since the days of IE 6. Having a single browser that works for the vast majority of web sites means there are fewer reasons to install a browser other than the new Chrome based Edge in the Enterprise. Less software to support and patch means fewer security vulnerabilities. That’s where this new browser could be a game changer.
Modern IT departments are already overwhelmed by patch management. Even seasoned professionals running good patch management software can run into occasional issues. Sometimes the old version gets removed, but the new one doesn’t deploy. Sometimes the package simply failed on a small number of machines that have a different configuration. As the number of PCs in an Enterprise scale up, so do the challenges of keeping those computers current. Going to a single browser that’s patched by the OS vendor reduces the likelihood of incidents. Every IT department charged with protecting assets looks for ways to gain effiecincies. Microsoft’s Edge browser based on chromium should be one such method.