Microsoft has made no secret of the fact that its new Edge browser - formerly known as Project Spartan - will provide the default web-browsing experience on its new Windows 10 operating system. Internet Explorer 11 will still be available on PCs for those that need its legacy support, or who simply prefer it over the newer alternative, but for most users, Edge will be the window through which they view the web.
But not all users will get this choice on their PCs - indeed, some Windows 10 computers won't include Edge at all.
Industry analysts Gartner revealed this week that Edge will not be available on Windows 10 Enterprise systems that are on the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB), and over on ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft has now confirmed that that information is correct.
Most users won't ever have to worry about the LTSB, as this option is one of several Windows-as-a-service branches available solely for Windows 10 Enterprise deployments. Under the LTSB, PCs only receive security patches and urgent hot-fixes - but no new OS features - for ten years. As Mary Jo explains, it's intended "for customers running mission-critical or otherwise locked-down applications", on systems that might be disrupted by the regular arrival of new features and updates.
The pace at which Microsoft expects to roll out updates to Edge makes the browser much less desirable for these Enterprise scenarios, compared with PCs owned by consumers who crave regular updates. And given that LTSB systems will be rarely updated, it makes little sense to include Edge as part of those Enterprise deployments, when the legacy IE11 browser will still be available there.
Gartner's Michael Silver also said that, while Universal Windows Apps should work just fine on LTSB systems at launch, that may change over time. As other Windows 10 SKUs are updated with new features, apps are likely to evolve to take advantage of new OS capabilities - and with LTSB PCs stuck on their original OS installation, future apps and updates may not work on those systems.
Source: Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet)