Microsoft To Deliver Edge for Business this Month

Microsoft announced on Friday that its Edge for Business capability will be arriving during the week of Aug. 17.

All organizations that use the Microsoft Entra ID service (formerly known as the "Azure Active Directory" service) for logging into the browser will get Microsoft Edge for Business by default. It'll arrive via the "stable version 116" release of the Edge browser.

Edge for Business is arriving for managed desktops, but it will work with unmanaged devices, too. Support for mobile devices will be coming.

Separate Personal and Work Uses
Microsoft had announced an early preview of Edge for Business back in May. At that time, Microsoft had suggested that it would better enable "hybrid work" scenarios by allowing personal and business uses of the browser to stay separate.

Users will be able see that they are using Edge for Business by a "briefcase icon" in the browser. They will have the ability to switch between it and a personal browser window. If users log into the browser using Entra ID, or use work-related business apps, then they'll be switched to use Edge for Business. Users signed in with a Microsoft account get access to the personal browser window.

Users stay logged into their Entra ID or Microsoft account when they get switched between personal and business browsers. They don't get logged out.

Browser data, such as passwords, favorites and other data, get stored separately between personal and work use cases, the announcement explained:

The work browser window (Microsoft Edge for Business) and personal browser window (Microsoft Edge) will have their own separate caches and storage locations, so information stays separate. This feature does not create any link between the user's Microsoft Entra ID account and their MSA account, and the organization settings related to linking work and personal accounts are unaffected.

Users don't necessarily have to actively switch between personal and business use cases with the browser if they have activated an "automatic switching" capability in Microsoft Edge for Business. Initially, automatic switching will be turned off by default, and it can only be turned on by the end user. However, Microsoft is planning to enable automatic switching "by default in a future release."

IT Controls
IT departments don't lose any control with Edge for Business, Microsoft's announcement suggested. They can turn off "automatic switching or personal profile usage" via a "group policy to turn off multiple profiles," the announcement explained. A group policy to add preferred sites to a site list for browsers is yet to come.

When Edge for Business arrives, all of an organization's current browser policies will be inherited, the announcement explained. IT departments also will be able to set the "security and compliance policies of the personal browsing window."

Microsoft claimed that there are security benefits to using Edge for Business. It's able to "reduce the surface area for cyberattacks" due to its automatic switching capability, Microsoft asserted.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.