Application of the Week – Microsoft Edge

Most colleagues in the office know that when someone uses the word ‘Edge’ that that will grab my attention instantaneously. But that has to do with the man with the Gibson Explorer, a long time hero of mine. Unfortunately that’s not what this blog is about. Sigh. After all these years, I thought I could finally write about something about the one and only Edge. Apparently not.

This blog is about the new Microsoft Edge based on Chromium, released January 15 of this year. It supports platforms like Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android and includes sync support for passwords, history, favorites, and settings across these platforms.

You might have seen that we’ve been adding and updating the Microsoft Edge Dev beta’s and Microsoft Edge Beta’s to the Setup Store since July of last year. Now it has been released these are the different variants we offer in the Setup Store for what’s now called Microsoft Edge for business:

After the release of the first official build 79.0.309.65, and a subsequent 79.0.309.68 release, the latest Stable channel build is now at 79.0.309.71. After this release Microsoft continued with beta’s for the second Stable channel build. When this blog was written build 80.0.361.33 is now the current beta for that channel. For Developers there’s a channel build which is now at version 81.0.389.2.

The setups for all of these Microsoft Edge flavors, for both x86 and x64, are all MSI based, not MSIX based. I still can’t find details about why Microsoft choose to do so, and apparently I’m not the only one.

In our last Liquit Release & Patch Management newsletter we’ve mentioned Microsoft will distribute Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based), replacing the now called Microsoft Edge Legacy, to Home and Pro Edition devices running Windows 10 version 1803 and newer via Windows Update. This process will start after January 15th, 2020.

Therefore we’ve added the Blocker Toolkit to the Setup Store also. Since this toolkit is a portable application, it’s only downloadable using Liquit Setup Commander or here.

The Blocker Toolkit is intended for organizations that would like to block automatic delivery of Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) on devices running Windows 10 version 1803 and newer that are running the Home or Pro Edition of Windows. All other versions and Editions of Windows are excluded from being updated automatically.

Devices running Windows 10 Home or Pro Edition that are joined to an Active Directory or Azure Active Directory domain, are MDM managed, or are WSUS or WUfB managed, will also be excluded from this automatic update.

This is how you create a Managed Package for Microsoft Edge in Liquit Workspace using the Setup Store connector:

  • Click Manage, Connector, then select the Setup Store connector
  • Click Resources and search for ‘Microsoft Edge’
  • Select either one of the available ‘Microsoft Edge’ setups, depending on the platform you want to deploy it on and the channel build you prefer
  • Click ‘Create Package’
  • In the Details screen opt for ‘Package Type = Managed’ if your default is ‘Unmanaged’ or leave it to ‘default’
  • Click ‘Next’
  • In the Customize screen, click ‘Configure’
  • The ‘Configure’ option only has a few options to configure shortcuts, reboots and ARP settings, configure it based on your preferences
  • Click ‘Save’
  • Click ‘Next’
  • In the Entitlements screen add the users you want to assign this package to
  • Click ‘Next’
  • In the Summary screen leave the ‘Modify package after creation’ checkbox checked
  • Click ‘Finish’

Stay tuned for Microsoft to provide GPO options to Hide the First Run Experience. That’s expected to be supported in the next Stable channel release 80 and can be tested now with the Beta and Dev builds.