Windows 10 ships with two browsers: the new, modern Microsoft Edge, and IE11 for legacy sites. When Edge determines that a site is old and meant for Internet Explorer, it will prompt the user to fire up the ancient browser instead. Microsoft is now extending that feature so that it is more automatic.
Keeping IE11 around for legacy sites is primarily aimed at Enterprise customers. That group of users still has business web apps and services that depend on Internet Explorer and the proprietary technologies that it supports.
Yet Microsoft still wants these users to spend the majority of their time in Edge, not simply use IE as they have before. As such, the company is making it easier for enterprises to use Edge by default and automatically switch to IE11 when necessary (Edge can now navigate to the current page in a new IE11 window, or a new tab if the browser is already running).
Microsoft is accomplishing this by extending Enterprise Mode support to Microsoft Edge. That means any site specified on the Enterprise Mode Site List in Windows 10 will open in IE11 even when you’re browsing in Edge.
Again, the goal is to keep Microsoft Edge as the default browser in Windows 10, limiting the use of IE11 to only handle legacy sites for the user. IT pros can use their existing IE11 Enterprise Mode Site List, create a new one specifically for Edge, or even configure any Intranet site to open in IE11 when a user tries to access it in Edge. As before, all of this is accomplished using Group Policy.
The best part is that because Windows 10 is a service, this functionality doesn’t require installing any new software. Enterprises simply need to be running Windows 10.
For more details on how to use this feature, check out “Use Enterprise Mode to improve compatibility” on Microsoft TechNet.
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