Specifically, the question is about which browser should be the default for accessing internal apps and data from users’ devices.
Previously, if your organization wanted to standardize on a single modern browser for use across all platforms, your only option was Chrome. This fact changed (in dramatic fashion) back in January when we released the new Microsoft Edge, which we believe is the best browser for business. Now IT leaders have another choice for modern browsers across all your platforms and, frankly, when you do a comparison, the choice is pretty clear.
Let me explain.
The new Microsoft Edge is built on the open-source Chromium project, the same foundation used by Chrome. This means that sites will perform the same on Microsoft Edge as they do on Chrome, and that you likely won’t experience the traditional compatibility problems you saw with IE.
With those major obstacles resolved, there are 5 remaining areas you have to rigorously examine when evaluating the browser you want your organization to use for accessing corporate apps and data:
- Stronger Privacy.
- Improved Internal Search.
- Better Compatibility.
- Manageability and Security.
- Better Memory Usage.
It’s time to expect more from browsers, especially when it comes to having more control over your data. Microsoft Edge provides you powerful default privacy protection, while still allowing you to benefit from web personalization. We have built our track record by contributing to the advancement of business by creating productivity tools that empower users. These tools, and our entire approach, are built on privacy, trust, and data protection as fundamental and foundational attributes of building for an enterprise-quality bar.
A browser from Microsoft is a commonsense selection for the needs of your users to access confidential and sensitive data. Check out our browser privacy promise to learn more about how your privacy is handled in Microsoft Edge.
Improved Internal Search
It pains me to say this as a regular user of Bing, but Google is the first name most people think of when it comes to search. But, when it comes to searching your organization’s internal information and data, Microsoft is clearly superior. Microsoft Search in Bing (MSB) is natively built into Microsoft Edge and this enables search across both your internal and external datasets from any Bing-powered search bar.
Figure 1: Files view – Get right back to the file you were working on or see files that co-workers have shared with you.
Figure 2: Conversations – Pick up where you left off in Microsoft Teams or Yammer and participate in business-wide chats.
Here’s a personal experience I’ve had with this functionality: over the years, I have, despite my best efforts, struggled to find data on the internal Microsoft web sites. Now, I go to one place (the new Microsoft Edge) and start typing whatever it is I’m searching for—just like I would when searching the web. I no longer have to pause and consider whether what I’m searching for is internal or external—I simply start typing and MSB searches all internal company resources (including contacts) for what I need. This enables me to quickly get to all of the internal Microsoft resources.
To see what this means to your workforce at a macro level, a recent Forrester Consulting TEI study found that companies reduced their time spent searching by 50 to 75%. IT Pros also see 30 – 60% reduction in certain support tickets, because employees are able to self-serve on common questions to IT. Having a single source of combined search for internal and external data and information is a game-changer.
Because it is built into the expansive worldwide Microsoft ecosystem, Microsoft Edge naturally has a higher level of compatibility than Chrome for most commercial organizations’ needs.
The natural first question you have while reading that is probably, “Well, if they are both based on the same open-source Chromium project, why is there any difference?” The reason is that 60% of enterprises have apps that were built to run in IE and may not be compatible in the Chromium engine. To address this widespread challenge, we built Internet Explorer mode into Microsoft Edge. This setup allows you to remain compatible with all your legacy internal apps while ensuring that the same browser has all the latest compatibility requirements for the world’s most sophisticated new websites. This marriage of IE and Chromium is unmatchable; this is designed from “file: new” to give your users the best experience possible in a secure environment.
Manageability and Security
Most of you reading this are already using Office 365 and the Office apps across all of your devices, and we’ve worked for years to build out our manageability, identity, and security capabilities in ways that natively integrate these capabilities into every tool you use. The Microsoft Edge browser has these same capabilities to secure your manageability/identity/security so that your browsing is secure and productive across devices just like your Office apps on your devices. We approach the browser and the Office apps in the exact same way.
Considering that the average commercial user spends 60% of their time in the browser, then leveraging Microsoft 365’s built-in capabilities across Microsoft Edge and Office gives you common management and security solutions across the apps where your users are spending most of their time and accessing/using the majority of your internal data.
With Microsoft Edge, you can define policies that keep data contained within commercial apps and block copy/paste into non-commercial apps, and you can create policies that help ensure users can only save your data into locations you have approved, like OneDrive and SharePoint. You can also define conditional access policies that ensure only trusted users—who are using trusted devices—can access your data from Microsoft Edge. These are all unique capabilities of Edge.
These are the exact same policies many of you have already set in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Intune, and Azure Active Directory for your mobile devices—and now we’ve made it so that Microsoft Edge is a natural and seamless extension you can begin using right now to meet your most critical business needs.
Better Memory Usage
We all know that happens when we have too many tabs open—our computer chugs, and we can’t do what we need online. Tabs eat up memory, so we wanted to address that. The new Microsoft Edge is more efficient on PC resources with the latest Windows 10 May 2020 update, which means your users’ batteries can last longer with faster performance. Longer battery life is one of the most common requests from users in the research we continually do. The Wall Street Journal just published its own findings on this. Performance, battery, and memory usage will continue to be the main focus areas as Microsoft Edge matures.
The five elements above are critically important to the security and productivity of any organization, and I believe that Microsoft Edge offers unique value (in some cases unmatched) in each category. These features are available or coming in Microsoft Edge on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can simply extend what you already have configured for the Office mobile apps to Microsoft Edge and Windows.
So, what can you do next?
Next, train your users on Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Search in Bing to make them more efficient in searching for internal content. You can use these pre-written kits that are designed to help you with end-user adoption and training.
And also educate your users on the importance of Microsoft Edge’s privacy and security features when accessing organizational data.
Try out Microsoft Edge if you haven’t already by downloading today. If you have and are ready to deploy, resources are available to assist you. Contact us at https://fasttrack.microsoft.com right away.