Windows 10 Anniversary Update will improve interoperability between Microsoft Edge and IE 11


Since the release of Windows 10, the update of Microsoft Edge has been a little on the slow side. The addition of support for add-ons may help to increase the user base for Edge, but many enterprise customers still have a need for Internet Explorer.

When building Edge from scratch, Microsoft included Enterprise Mode to allow sites that rely on older technology to open with Internet Explorer 11 instead. With the upcoming release of Windows 10 Anniversary Update improvements are being introduced that will smooth out some of the rough edges of Enterprise Mode, including removing the friction that currently exists when switching browsers.

Based on user feedback, Microsoft is removing the interstitial page that is currently displayed, proudly proclaiming that "This website needs Internet Explorer 11" before making the switch. Oddly, Microsoft didn’t seem to predict that people might find this unnecessary notification in any way irritating, but the company now appears to have got the message loud and clear. With the arrival of Windows 10 Anniversary Update, "IE11 will simply load on top of Microsoft Edge with no extra visual affordances, helping your users more quickly complete the tasks they had set out to do". A group policy setting can be used to enable the message if preferred.

A second change will make it possible to limit the use of Internet Explorer 11 to "line of business" apps. Microsoft says:

Starting with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we are introducing a new Internet Explorer group policy to restrict IE11 usage to only sites on the Enterprise Mode Site List: “Send all sites not included in the Enterprise Mode Site List to Microsoft Edge.” Enabling this setting automatically opens all sites that are not included in the Enterprise Mode Site List in Microsoft Edge. We recommend setting Microsoft Edge as the default browser when enabling this policy.

This feature works with both the v.1 and v.2 XML schemas. If you also have the "Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer 11" Microsoft Edge group policy enabled at the same time, then all intranet sites will continue to open in IE11.

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