In another step towards moving people from Internet Explorer to Edge, Microsoft will be introducing functionality in an upcoming Edge release that will force certain websites to open only in Edge when an attempt is made to view the sites in IE 11. The list of sites contains roughly 1,100 sites deemed “incompatible” with Internet Explorer 11 and appears to be focused on consumer-facing sites such as Facebook, Youtube, ESPN, and more. Users can expect to see this in the Edge 87 update that will be arriving in November.
Once the update is applied for the average consumer, they will have no recourse. When they navigate to a site on the list, the user will see a dialog open informing them of the change. They will be required to use Edge for these sites as there is no way to adjust this redirection in IE 11’s options menu. For enterprise users, there are ways to manage this change via group policy. Microsoft has made a set of policies available that can disable the redirection entirely or change the user experience.
Given that IE 11 market share is something close to just 5% of the desktop/laptop browser market and the list is heavily focused on consumer destinations, there’s not much concern. This should impact pure enterprise userbases. That still does leave some users and organizations exposed. Given the pandemic forcing more users to work from home, it’s imperative organizations know they have the tools needed to identify and avoid these kinds of support issues before they happen. Suppose this change is not proactively managed in the enterprise. In that case, there will be some confusion and an increase in the volume of support tickets when users are forced onto a different browser for external browsing.
A change like this highlights how dependent we can be on technology that can be modified or made unavailable by groups outside IT control. In this case, Microsoft has provided a way around the enterprise’s change, but that is not always the case. From a support perspective, I am regularly involved in customers’ efforts where vendors have not provided either awareness of breaking changes or even the tools to manage through those changes. Browsium software allows you to lock down your environment and control external changes with dependencies such as Internet Explorer or Flash, another deprecation effort Microsoft has been working towards with Adobe.
Existing customers wanting to know more about this issue, please contact our support team, and we’ll help address all your questions. We’re also happy to help provide background and coordinate a discussion with our sales and technical teams for those who aren’t yet Browsium customers. We spend our time immersed in these issues and the browser world; let us help you learn from our experience and advance your organization’s ability to control the valuable browser endpoint for your users.
I’m Ryan Reed, Lead Support Engineer, and have been with Browsium for coming up to 5 years now. In addition to supporting our users directly, I keep an eye on tech news and issues in the browser space that may impact the enterprise.