Build 2019: New Edge to Pick Up IE Mode, More

Posted on May 6, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 14 Comments

Today at Build 2019, Microsoft announced that the new Chromium-based Edge web browser will offer Internet Explorer compatibility and other improvements.

“In December, we announced our intention to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop,” a Microsoft statement notes. “We’re excited to work with the larger Chromium open source community to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.”

More to the point, Microsoft is also revealing some new functionality that it will include in the new Microsoft Edge. This includes:

Internet Explorer mode. Instead of forcing business users to switch between two different web browsers so that they can access internal websites that still required IE, Microsoft Edge will feature a fully-compatible Internet Explorer mode via a new tab. That way, users can run legacy sites and modern sites side-by-side in one browser.

New privacy tools. Beyond stripping out all of Google’s tracking tools and other privacy issues, the new Edge will provide additional privacy tools that I think will make it a no- brainer for all users. You will basically see three levels of privacy in the new Edge—Unrestricted, Balanced and Strict—to control how, or if, third-parties can track you at all in the browser.

Collections. The new Edge will integrate with Microsoft Office to provide an end-to-end solution for addressing information overload and for collecting, organizing, and sharing content more efficiently.

Developer. The new Edge will provide 100 percent compatibility with Chrome with regards to websites and extensions without requiring any additional work. This work isn’t quite done yet in the current pre-release builds, but is coming soon.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Build 2019: New Edge to Pick Up IE Mode, More”

  1. Daekar

    That IE compatibility thing will make this a no-brainer at my company. Not having to juggle multiple browsers would be a huge plus for a lot of users that, let's be real, don't actually understand what a web browser is in the first place.


    Can't wait to see this stuff roll out.

  2. DaveHelps

    Some time ago, Dr Pizza tweeted about legacy APIs, saying maybe they should make the real API clean and simple and layer the legacy compatibility on top.


    And Paul has previously written about the start over, start simple, rebuild approach of things like .NET Core, VS Code.


    And here we see it again. Making legacy IE act like modern Chrome was impossible. Taking modern Chromium and adding a backward-compatible IE mode is much easier and architecturally neater. Smart move.

  3. Pbike908

    Looking forward to Chromium Edge!

  4. JCerna

    I can see this being helpful for many companies, however I would rather they focus releasing this browser to the public ASAP and make it a great experience. The preview is already good and I've been using it as my main browser, but it definitely needs polish. I hope/wish they can release it as a separate update and not part of a new windows version at least for windows 10.

  5. jon_mass

    I used to use an extension for Firefox called "IE Tab", was very useful for sites that required IE/ActiveX etc., having it built-in is a nice feature

  6. eric_rasmussen

    This is great to see, but I wonder what exactly has happened within Microsoft to make them suddenly care about doing things right? For years now they've been going against the current, implementing whatever they felt like while mostly ignoring the community. Suddenly they're bending over backwards to implement community-requested features.


    I think these changes and more will make Windows 10 the operating system to beat, so I'm happy with what's coming out of Redmond. Maybe Microsoft is finally making the product managers read Paul's blog and watch Windows Weekly? :P

  7. slbailey1

    I will love not having to switch between Edge and IE!

  8. mattbg

    Chrome has a great extension called IETab that I use at work a lot - it really helps when you want to have one default browser but need some sites to always open in IE for compatibility reasons, so it's definitely do-able in a clean way. You can configure this extension to always open certain URL patterns with IE inside a Chrome tab.


    I'm guessing this will only be available on Windows, however. But maybe that's enough.

  9. BlackForestHam

    I hope Collections will allow exporting to OneNote. The Web Clipper is so limited.

  10. hrlngrv

    FWLIW, I cheat and use portable browsers at work. Chrome and Waterfox haven't choked on anything on the Intranet. OTOH, there are some major systems used by many Intranets for which Edge has never become an officially supported browser. Gotta wonder whether this is a way to finesse that. Still, fascinating Karma with Edge picking up something like Firefox's IETab add-on from over a decade ago.

    As for Chrome extensions, in theory Firefox Quantum can use Chrome extensions, but there's an HP 12C extension which works fine with Chrome and Opera but not with Firefox. It'll be interesting to see whether Edge can handle it.

  11. Belralph

    Outstanding! There are so many devices (IP cameras) and websites that only work with IE. Hopefully the days of making desktop shortcuts to open URLs in specific browsers are over.

  12. wolters

    I like the IE mode because we still have several legacy applications that still show no signs of leaving Silverlight.

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