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Emulate Edge browser on LTSB IE11? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm facing the difficult task of choosing either the current branch or long-term servicing branch of Windows 10 Enterprise in a fairly large network. These are all local PCs without VDI or non-company devices. There's also a mix of Server 2016 RD session hosts, which is supposed to be in lock-step with Windows 10 LTSB.

    We don't use any Store apps for anything in-house, so the logical choice is LTSB, until I see Google, GitHub, Dropbox and even Microsoft (! Seriously?) complaining that IE11 users on Windows 10 LTSB should use Edge.

    I know IE11 on Windows 10 can do anything Edge can, and still support legacy plugins. Also, Software Restriction Policies will break Edge on releases 1703 and later because of the (monumentally stupid, in my opinion) decision to support user-installed plugins from the Windows Store and needing those plugins to run from user-writeable areas; areas I don't want any of my users writing program code to.

    So, no Edge, no Store, and no Current Branch. But these sites will complain and confuse my users.

    I know IE11's Dev toolbar supports specifying Edge as the user-agent string, and I can even force a user-agent string in Group Policy, but at least one site, YouTube, sees past that. Is there another way I can tell these sites to sod off, pretend we're using Edge, and not confuse my users?

    Thursday, October 12, 2017 8:27 PM

All replies

  • Personally I would stay away from Windows 10 in the Enterprise all together at the moment, such huge support overheads so clearly I am going to say LTSB is the way to go.  Is there anything stopping you using Windows 7 Enterprise for the next few years as it still receives security updates till 2020? Microsoft are investing a lot of resources into pushing users to use their new browser (even though, imo, it still has far inferior printing and is causing system admins immense headaches) so I don't like your chances of finding a method that will stick.  Wait till you try and stop Edge from appearing again for your users after every update!  I will be watching with interest...
    • Edited by NoneAndOne Thursday, October 12, 2017 9:36 PM
    Thursday, October 12, 2017 9:35 PM
  • The question isn't about avoiding the use of Windows 10. There are a lot of factors I had to analyze, and the result of that was I want to deploy some version of Windows 10. I'll brute-force any broken desktop application that doesn't like it into working on it, one way or another.

    I would also rather have MS Edge for everything. Most of what we're using is migrating to HTML 5 away from Flash and Java. However, Edge doesn't work with Software Restriction Polices as of Release 1703, because it's trying to run some code in user-writeable space thanks to having to support user-installable plugins from the Windows Store. This means I'm using LTSB and Internet Explorer 11 to get the security I want.

    Now back to my question:

    The question is about fooling web sites that are supposedly depreciating Internet Explorer 11 into behaving as though MS Edge is being used. Or rather, about impersonating Edge from IE 11. This is so these sites won't confuse the heck out of my users when they start working with them.

    Friday, October 13, 2017 2:09 PM
  • Hi Gordon, were you able to find a way to achieve your goal?
    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 8:54 PM
  • Sites that solely rely on the user agent can be faked out with a custom user agent string set up in Group Policy. But constructing the string is interesting because IE 11 on Windows 10 still tacks on stuff. I don't have an ideal string chosen yet.

    Besides, sites aren't supposed to be using the user agent string anymore, instead querying the browser for features.

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/hh273397.aspx

    This might by what YouTube is doing, as it isn't fooled by the F12 User Agent setting. By comparison, GitHub and even microsoft.com are fooled.

    Remember my goal is to emulate or impersonate Edge in IE, at least enough to not confuse users to go look for browsers that won't exist. Omitting Edge is as simple as deploying a long-term servicing branch, um, channel edition of Windows 10, and it looks like I'll be deploying this edition.



    Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:40 PM