Tech

Fear the Walking Edge: Desktop support pulled, but legacy browser lingers on in Surface Hub, Xbox, HoloLens

Microsoft users are striding into a bright, new, legacy Edge-less future: unless they’re using the Surface Hub, HoloLens or Xbox.

The ninth of March marked the day Microsoft chose to end its adventures in homegrown browsers: the old Edge is dead, long live the new Edge… in desktop form, that is.

April’s cumulative update for Windows 10 will remove the Edge icon (if not the internal plumbing on which a number of applications and components depend).

However, the word “desktop” is key. It is only support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy Desktop that came to a halt yesterday. The unwanted code lingers on within the Surface Hub, can be found annoying Xbox gamers, and lurks within Microsoft’s premium HoloLens augmented reality headset.

The old Edge browser will therefore continue to get security updates, just not on the Windows 10 desktop. At some point, however, the plug will be pulled on those non-desktop scenarios once Microsoft works out how to take Chromium Edge beyond its current platforms.

Xbox owners courageous enough to brave the device’s Insider programme began seeing the new version of Edge nestling up beside the legacy code over the weekend in a very alpha form.

Microsoft has a long and storied history when it comes to old products that refuse to die. Windows XP lingered long after its official death date thanks to POS implementations and emergency patches to fend off malware. Enterprises are only just waking up to the horrors lurking within legacy on-premises versions of Exchange.

Support might have been pulled and the icon may be disappearing from the Windows 10 desktop, but legacy Edge seems set to receive fixes and endure in one way or another for a good while yet. ®


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