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Microsoft's IE Mode for Edge targets enterprise users

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 14 May, 2019

Microsoft's IE Mode for Edge targets enterprise users

Microsoft has eased up on its push to replace Internet Explorer with its Edge web browser, with a new development aimed at giving enterprise users the best of both worlds.

In a video released during the Microsoft Build conference, Microsoft Edge Principal Program Manager Fred Pullen announced plans to introduce a new Internet Explorer mode into the under-construction Chromium-based Edge web browser.

The new Internet Explorer mode is designed to provide improved backward compatibility for IT departments still using ageing web apps.

Microsoft aims to deliver a consistent experience for end users by rendering within the Edge browser apps and sites within a customer’s enterprise mode site list or corporate intranet that requires Internet Explorer.

The mode will support older web technologies such as ActiveX controls or the Netscape plug-in application programming interface (NPAPI), as well as ageing Microsoft products such as SharePoint.

Network administrators can also choose to send all sites within an enterprise site list or intranet to Internet Explorer 11, and start whitelisting web applications known to work within Edge.

Administrators can also choose to continue operating Internet Explorer 11 as a full, separate application either by default, or for individual sites and applications through exceptions.

Pullen said Internet Explorer will continue to be developed separately and is considered a component of the Windows operating system in which it is installed, so it will be supported through the life cycle of those operating systems.

“There’s still a need for Internet Explorer even though our guidance for years has been [to reduce] dependency on [the web browser]. That said, we want to make sure that we start to restrict when and where and how Internet Explorer is instantiated,” he said.

“Internet Explorer 11 has a lot of power under the hood...but with additional functionality comes additional risk. So we want to give you the tools that you need to be able to use to limit... where Internet Explorer is running. Internet Explorer Mode is an important step in that journey.”

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