Microsoft Edge, the brand new browser from Microsoft that was expected to become the default option for Windows 10, will not be available on all Windows 10 versions, announced Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft watcher at ZDNet.
The Microsoft Edge (a.k.a. Project Spartan)
Microsoft Edge is also known by its temporary codename Project Spartan. In the end of April, Joe Belfiore, the Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, revealed the new name at BUILD 2015, explaining that “edge” comes from the belief that the browser is being on the cutting edge of technology. Microsoft Edge is also aimed at being software that incorporates far more capabilities than just browsing.
On another note, at the Microsoft Convergence in March this year, the Microsoft’s marketing chief Chris Capossela talked about the power of using the Microsoft brand over Internet Explorer or just Windows. He hinted back then that the name of the new browser is likely to include the word “Microsoft” in it.
The Edge browser will support extensions from both Chrome and Firefox, and is said to be “the only browser that lets you take notes, write, doodle, and highlight directly on webpages,” according to Microsoft.com. They also promise to have a “chatty personal assistant” named Cortana integrated with the Edge that will help users with their searches. How these features will work out, however, remains to be seen.
The Future of Internet Explorer
Although Microsoft tried hard to improve the image of Internet Explorer over the past several years through campaigns mocking the Internet Explorer 6, the situation did not improve. As a result, the Microsoft’s Internet Explorer chief left the company in December.
Internet Explorer 11, however, will continue to exist in some versions of Windows 10 – mainly for enterprise compatibility and for those who simply prefer it, but it will be hidden well, leaving the entire spotlight to the Edge.
Not all Windows 10 systems, however, will give users the option to choose between the two browsers.
Windows 10 Systems without the Microsoft Edge
Contrary to all expectations, some Windows 10 computers will not include the Microsoft Edge browser and will remain with the Internet Explorer 11 instead, confirmed both industry analysts at Gartner and Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet.
The systems without the Edge will be Windows 10 Enterprise systems that are on the “Long Term Servicing Branches” or LTSB.
The LTSB systems will have only security updates and bug fixes. While the Edge will be receiving a lot of functional updates that LTSB users will not receive, there is practically no need to include the Edge in the LTSBs.
Microsoft explained that this is something end users should not be concerned about, even those who will use the standard Windows 10 Enterprise on their home networks.
The Long Term Servicing Branch Vs. the Current Branch
Up until Windows 10 was created, Microsoft was releasing versions of Windows in the following way:
- A new version of Windows is released
- Every couple of months Microsoft provides updates for that version, including security and bug fixes
- To add a new functionality, however, Microsoft needs to release a newer version of that Windows
- Users will then have to wait for a couple of years until Microsoft releases the newer Windows version that will include that particular functionality
Windows 10, however, has changed the game drastically, providing more flexibility and choices to the users.
The new Windows 10 will offer two versions – the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) and the Current Branch (CB).
The LTSB is similar to how Windows versions have been delivered so far: It will receive security updates and bug fixes on a regular basis, with new LTSB versions released every couple of years.
Alternatively, the CB version is the one that will receive not only security updates and bug fixes, but also new features every few months, without having to upgrade to newer versions of CB. CB systems will use the Microsoft Edge browser as well.
Most importantly, however, users will be given the option to switch between LTSBs and CBs whenever they feel like they don’t need to receive updates so frequently and vice versa.