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Microsoft is Adding Classic ‘Edge Mode’ to New Edge Browser

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HotCakeX
Esteemed Contributor

new-edge-header

 

Microsoft is developing a new 'Edge Mode' that lets users visit sites using the same rendering engine as Classic Edge to continue using legacy web applications.

 

In the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, users can enable a feature called 'Internet Explorer Mode' that causes the browser to emulate Internet Explorer 11. This mode is designed for organizations that need to utilize web apps that were designed for the legacy browser.

When Internet Explorer mode is enabled, the Internet Explorer icon will appear in the address bar and sites that you visit will think you are running Internet Explorer 11.

 

clipboard_image_0.jpegEdge in Internet Explorer Mode

 

If Internet Explorer mode is enabled, the Microsoft Edge Dev and Canary builds have also added a new option called 'Open sites in Edge mode'. While nothing official has been announced about this feature, it will most likely allow the browser to emulate Classic Edge.

 

clipboard_image_1.jpegOpen sites in Edge mode

 

To use this feature, an Edge flag named "Enable IE Integration" at edge://flags/#edge-internet-explorer-integration must be set to 'IE Mode'.

 

clipboard_image_2.jpegEnable IE Integration flag

 

Once configured, users can then launch the new Microsoft Edge program with the '--ie-mode-test' command line argument to enable the Internet Explorer mode feature.

 

clipboard_image_3.jpegLaunch with --ie-mode-test argument

 

Once that feature is enabled, an additional 'Open sites in Edge mode' option will become available under Options -> More Tools.

This new mode does not appear to do anything as of yet.

Still being developed

This feature is still being developed as can be seen by the browser user-agents being sent when using these emulation modes.

When a browser visits a web site, a user-agent string is sent to the web site with each request that can be used to identify the name and version of the browser.

This user-agent can then be used by the site to determine what features the browser supports and any code changes that need to be made so that the web site renders properly.

Below are the various user-agent strings sent by Microsoft Edge, Classic Edge, and the IE and Edge modes.

 

New Microsoft Edge browser user-agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4023.0 Safari/537.36 Edg/81.0.396.0

Classic Microsoft Edge user-agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/70.0.3538.102 Safari/537.36 Edge/18.19013

Internet Explorer Mode user-agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko

Edge Mode user-agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4023.0 Safari/537.36 Edg/81.0.396.0

As you can see, when in Internet Explorer Mode the user agent is set to the one used by Internet Explorer 11.

 

Edge Mode, though, still uses the same user-agent as the new Microsoft Edge rather than Classic Edge, which indicates that this feature is still in its infancy and being developed.

As with all Microsoft software features, this one may not make it to Release, but based on the availability of IE Mode, we can expect that it will.

 

Source

10 Replies
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@HotCakeXI didn't get the update. Do PDF files or file:/// urls work?

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There is no separate update, just make sure your Dev or Canary channels are latest versions.
I tried in Edge canary and i got the option but as the post says, it's not complete yet.
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Of course I don't think it's gonna work on any OS other than Windows 10 which has Edge legacy.
so it probably won't work on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, OSX, Linux.
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@HotCakeX "Of course I don't think it's gonna work on any OS other than Windows 10 which has Edge legacy. [S]o it probably won't work on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, OSX, Linux."

 

I agree with you, but why would anyone want it to work outside Windows 10?  Edge Mode, like IE Mode, is a workaround for Enterprise customers who retain legacy internal websites and web tools grounded in EdgeHTML, which is now depreciated technology.  I don't see the value of dragging anyone other than Windows 10 users into the EdgeHTML compatibility morass.

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Well yeah if the issue is with internal websites instead of compatibility issues with external public websites then it's gonna be okay
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@HotCakeX "Well yeah if the issue is with internal websites instead of compatibility issues with external public websites then it's gonna be okay."

 

Yup.  It is going to be okay. 

 

Enterprise customers who created internal websites and web tools requiring EdgeHTML or other LegacyEdge-specific tools to function properly were, almost by definition, developing for Windows 10 (which embedded LegacyEdge), not earlier Windows versions, so it doesn't make any difference if Windows NT, XP, 7, 8/8.1 and other operating systems that didn't/don't support LegacyEdge do or don't support Edge Mode. 

 

As to external public sites, I can't imagine that there are more than a handful (out of 200 million or so active websites) that are not compatible with Chromium-based browsers -- Chromium, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi and the like, now including Edge.

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Hmm okay, there are almost 1 Billion Windows 10 users so we will all be able to use this feature
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@HotCakeX  "Hmm okay, there are almost 1 Billion Windows 10 users so we will all be able to use this feature."

 

No question about that ... if any of them ever run into a public website that won't work with Chromium-based browsers like Chrome or the new Edge.

 

I understand the need for Edge Mode in an Enterprise environment with legacy-coded internal websites designed for use exclusively with LegacyEdge, just as I understand the need for IE Mode in an Enterprise environment with legacy-coded internal websites designed for use exclusively with IE. 

 

I am not belittling the importance of legacy workarounds to those Enterprise customers.  All I am suggesting is that few users outside Enterprise environments with legacy coding will ever encounter a problem with a public website that requires them to use either Edge Mode or IE Mode.

 

But those legacy-code workarounds may create potential risks for consumer-users of Windows 10, risks that may not be justified by a need for legacy-code workarounds.  I wonder if it isn't time for Microsoft to shed legacy coding in consumer builds of Windows 10, instead limiting legacy coding to Enterprise builds and allowing Enterprise customers to toggle the coding in or out of the Enterprise build based on need.

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