Microsoft Preparing to give Admins More Control over Edge Browser

Microsoft Preparing to give Admins More Control over Edge Browser

The Windows team over at Microsoft and the Microsoft Edge team have put a lot of work into making the new Edge browser a viable alternative to current web browser offerings.

In a normal Windows 10 installation, Microsoft Edge is the the default web browser with Internet Explorer 11 close by if necessary.

However, even with over 300 million active monthly users of Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is not even making a blip on the radar when it comes to usage.

In a recent article on ZD Net, Ed Bott writes about the continued increase in Windows 10 usage but also takes note of the fact that usage of Microsoft Edge has actually declined over the last three months despite the overall increase in Windows 10 usage.

Some of this drop in Edge usage may be related to the fact that Windows 10 Current Branch (CB)/Current Branch for Business (CBB) (Version 1511 - November Update and Version 1507 - RTM) include a version of Edge that does not support browser extensions.  As I monitor social media and other user channels the lack of key extensions such as ad blockers and password managers pushes users to other browsers right now it seems.

Next month, when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607) is released, Microsoft Edge will have extension support and it is likely this may push some folks over to use Microsoft Edge and take advantage of its speed and security features.

In the interim though, Microsoft wants you to know that system admins will still have complete control over the new browser within their organizations. Over on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog the team has provided updated information about what controls are available with Microsoft Edge right now in CB/CBB releases plus what they can expect when the Anniversary Update is released next month.

Policies Supported in Windows 10 Version 1507 (Initial Release)

  • Configure Autofill
  • Configure Cookies
  • Configure Do Not Track
  • Configure Password Manager
  • Configure Pop up Blocker
  • Configure search suggestions in the Address bar
  • Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List
  • Configure the SmartScreen Filter
  • Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer 11

Policies Supported in Windows 10 Version 1511 (November Update)

  • Allow Developer Tools
  • Allow InPrivate browsing
  • Allow web content on New Tab page
  • Configure Favorites
  • Configure Home pages (see additional note below)
  • Prevent bypassing SmartScreen prompts for files
  • Prevent bypassing SmartScreen prompts for sites
  • Prevent sharing LocalHost IP address for WebRTC

Policies Supported in Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Expected in July 2016)

  • Allow access to the about:flags page
  • Allow usage of extensions
  • Configure WebRTC media port ranges
  • Show a transitional message when opening Internet Explorer site

Some of the existing policies mentioned above have also been updated according to the team:

"We’ve made a few updates to existing policies based on feedback from customers.  First, all of the Microsoft Edge Group Policy settings on desktop are now available in both the User and Machine policy hives. Second, the home page policy configured on a domain-joined device will no longer allow the user to override the setting."

For more information on how Edge and IE work together in CB/CBB, next month's Anniversary Update and management policies check out these resources:

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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