Internet Explorer is retiring. This is not exactly fresh news, but Microsoft’s move ahead in the evolution of its browser should not go unnoticed by the corporate IT department. In its annual conference nearly a year ago today, Microsoft was introducing Edge, the browser in Windows 10 that would replace Internet Explorer.

Last month as of January 12, Microsoft officially announced any version before Internet Explorer 11 will retire. Even this version is dated. Microsoft released IE11 along with Windows 8.1 two years ago.

Officially, the latest IE11 and Edge will give users, “improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today’s websites and services.”

Why IT departments should care

The everyday user probably will not care that much about IE’s support ending. Google’s Chrome is a very popular browser that has worked well with Canadian Bank sites without issues. Prior to that, IE gave the best compatibility for users. Firefox is also an alternative browser that loads most business websites with no issues.

Ironically, Microsoft’s Edge browser might be too new for businesses to handle. Users might just have to stay with IE11, Chrome, and Firefox for the highest browser compatibility.

Edge too new

For now, corporations might not want to roll out Windows 10 having Edge as the default browser just yet. For companies reliant on Internet Explorer, IE 11 makes the most sense as the default. Chrome is resource-hungry while Mozilla’s Firefox may have the odd bug or incompatibility with a website.

Having used Edge, I find the browser too simplified. Gone are quick access keys to the menus, like “ALT A” to access favorites. Instead, the desktop user must guide the mouse and click an icon (three lines), the star icon, and then find the link. Having to make these multiple clicks is awkward. Users on a tablet may find the buried menus for favorites easier to access by touching and tapping.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 tablet

Take notes

Microsoft treats the browser like a content scavenger. You may save a web note or share it. Saving a web note requires logging on to OneNote online. Access to this feature requires an Outlook (Hotmail) account. In effect, Microsoft is driving adoption of its email and Office 365 through the desktop’s browser.

The Reading View icon is prominently placed on the right. This feature takes out ads and unnecessary page elements to make reading text on a web page easier.

In Firefox or Chrome both have a reader view but the feature is not native. An add-on is required.

Office OS

Relevance of Edge Browser in Enterprise

Microsoft’s Edge browser update is ultimately a way for the company to push out adoption of its own online tools. The worker is not always desktop-only. The Microsoft Surface tablet will suit mobile users, so the Edge browser works best for them.

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