Last month, we began rolling out the Windows 10 Creators Update (Windows 10 version 1703) to over 400 million customers around the world. The Creators Update upgrades Microsoft Edge to EdgeHTML 15, including a number of performance, security, and compatibility improvements.
In this post, we’ll share a bit more detail on how the Windows 10 Creators Update makes Microsoft Edge better than ever for Enterprise customers and IT Professionals.
In Windows 10 version 1703, we’ve added new policies that support key management scenarios, enabled by Mobile Device Management (MDM), Microsoft Intune, and Group Policy. In particular, we’ve focused on missing policies that were requested in your feedback.
You can find the full list of new policies for Microsoft Edge in the Available Policies topic on TechNet. Some of the highlights include:
We’ve often discussed compatibility for legacy sites, and how Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 can work better together to provide a modern experience, while still providing a compatible fallback for legacy experiences. Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer provide the ability to seamlessly switch from one to the other, based on the site you’re loading, making sure your users have the best experience possible. To reinforce this approach, we’ve added these policies for better app compatibility:
Keep favorites in sync between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge
One of our most common requests is for a policy to Keep favorites in sync between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. New in the Windows 10 version 1703, this policy setting synchronizes user favorites between the two browsers in real-time. That means that any changes you make in the Internet Explorer Favorites folder structure is also made in the Microsoft Edge Favorites database, and vice versa. Combined with the Enterprise Mode Site List, your users should never need to remember which browser to use to open a site – it should all be done automatically.
Allow Adobe Flash
Some customers have shared concerns about how to manage Adobe Flash content. Windows 10 version 1703 adds the Allow Adobe Flash policy setting to completely turn off, or disable, Adobe Flash content from running in your organization.
Adobe Flash Click-to-Run
We’re encouraging the transition to HTML5 alternatives by providing additional user control over when Flash content loads. We’ve made Microsoft Edge default to only allow Adobe Flash content to run when someone explicitly clicks on it. With this policy, you can choose to override this experience and allow Adobe Flash content to simply run,.
Customizing the experience
We’ve also added a number of policy settings that help you customize user experiences and functionality as per your enterprise policy:
Prevent the First Run webpage from opening on Microsoft Edge
This setting disables the “First Run” experience in Microsoft Edge. Your users will instead navigate straight to their default start page.
Disable lockdown of Start pages
We’ve previously provided the ability to lock down your Start pages by using the policy setting, Configure Start pages. Since then, we’ve heard feedback from a number of customers who simply wanted a configuration option, with no lock down. In Windows 10 version 1703, we’ve added an additional policy setting that you can set on top of the existing one to configure Start pages without locking them down. You can then decide whether to modify, add, or delete these Start pages.
We have introduced three new policies to help you configure search providers:
- Configure additional search engines: Lets you add additional search engine providers for your employees to choose from.
- Set default search engine: Lets you decide the default search engine for your employees.
- Allow search engine customization: Lets you decide whether to lock down your search engine configuration so your employees can’t change it.
Allow Address bar drop-down list suggestions
This policy setting lets you decide whether the Address bar drop-down functionality is available in Microsoft Edge. If you disable this setting, your employees won’t get suggested search results when typing in the Microsoft Edge suggestions list.
Allow clearing browsing data on exit
If you don’t want an employee’s browsing data to persist on the machine at the end of a browsing session, you can use this policy setting to automatically clear all browsing data when Microsoft Edge closes.
With the Windows 10 Creators Update, we’ve introduced a number of new features and ongoing improvements to browser fundamentals, to improve the overall experience of the browser for all of your users.
Microsoft Edge now lets your users set tabs aside for later, sweeping them aside and organizing them neatly in a special section for easy access at a later time. We’ve also made it easier to glance at the content of all open tabs by simply clicking the “show tab previews” icon, which will expand the tab bar to show a preview of each open tab.
Made for the modern web, with available support for the legacy web
Microsoft Edge stays up-to-date. with support for the latest web standards that are driving today’s websites and web apps, giving you a browser that “just works” with modern sites. The Edge Developer Center also provides guidance and tools to help developers update their sites to use modern standards.
We understand that migrating your sites to modern web standards can be a long-term process. Using Enterprise Mode with Internet Explorer for backward compatibility can help you upgrade more easily. We’re also making it easier for you to manage your Enterprise Mode site lists. If your site list is of a relatively small size, using the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager is the easiest way to manage your Enterprise Mode Site List. If your if your site list is relatively large and requires multiple users to work on it, we recommend using the Enterprise Mode Site List Portal.
More efficient, more responsive and more secure
In a recent blog post, we talked in detail about the work done to make Microsoft Edge more efficient, responsive, and secure in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Some of the highlights are:
- We’ve improved battery efficiency, so when your users are mobile with their laptops or Surface devices, they will get more out of their battery, improving productivity on the go.
- Microsoft Edge is now faster and more responsive, even when the page may be busy or hung, by prioritizing the user’s input.
- We’ve introduced Arbitrary Code Guard and Code Integrity Guard to help protect users from exploits that aim to load malicious code into memory, and dramatically improved the Microsoft Edge sandbox, cutting the attack surface available by up to 90% in some areas.
The Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) makes life easier for you as an Enterprise administrator or IT professional, introducing a number of new policies and improvements to reduce the overhead of supporting both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. It also improves the end-user experience considerably, with new features and improved fundamentals for a more productive and enjoyable experience on the web.
If you’re on a Windows 10 device, you can simply check for updates to try the Windows 10 Creators Update today – see the instructions here for more details.
Puneet Arora, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Edge