Who Gets Microsoft Advantage on Windows 10 and just how?

Microsoft will release the brand new Microsoft Edge browser according to Chromium on January 15, at which point the company will also start pushing it to Windows 10 devices as the new default.

However, with respect to the form of Windows 10 that is running on one device, and also on the registry settings designed to the demonstration of the operating system, the new browser may or may not launch for download.

Automatic update via Windows Update

First and foremost, Windows 10 devices running Home and Pro will be offered Microsoft Edge via Windows Update. This means that the brand new browser will show up as a download on Windows Update, and when installed, it replaces the original Edge as the new version.

To be offered the new browser, devices must be running Windows 10 version 1803 (Windows 10 May 2018 Update) or newer. Only Home and Pro SKUs will get the browser on Windows Update.

The browser will land like a standalone update and won’t be bundled along with other security or non-security updates – this is the reason Microsoft will publish it on January 15, as January 14 may be the day when the company will release the January 2020 Patch Tuesday fixes.

Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro users may also be able to use a dedicated toolkit that will block the new browser from being offered through Windows Update. The toolkit makes a registry edit to avoid Windows Update from downloading the new Edge.

Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Enterprise will not be offered Microsoft Edge on Windows Update, therefore the Blocker Toolkit can’t be used on these SKUS. Microsoft explains:

“Organizations with environments managed with an update management solution for example Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) don’t have to deploy the Blocker Toolkit. They are able to use those products to completely manage deployment of updates released through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based), within their environment.”

Also, devices that are enrolled in a network using Windows Update for Business won’t get the update on Windows Update, and so the blocker toolkit isn’t necessary.

Manual download from the browser

Microsoft Edge will also be released as standalone installers for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and macOS – because of the migration to the Chromium engine, already available cross-platform, the browser can also be released on operating systems apart from Windows 10.

What this means is users will be able to manually upload Microsoft Edge no matter the Windows 10 version they operate on the unit; which means that manual installation of the browser is possible both on Windows 10 Home (where the browser is also offered on Windows Update) as well as on Windows 10 Enterprise (in which the browser isn’t offered on Windows Update).

Furthermore, manual installing of Microsoft Edge is allowed even on devices where the Blocker Toolkit has previously been configured – the toolkit only blocks installing Edge from Windows Update.

Microsoft allows multiple versions of Microsoft Edge to operate on a single device (stable, Beta, Dev, Canary) regardless of the manner in which was used for the installation of the stable build.

Once installed, the stable form of Microsoft Edge is going to be updated when features finish beta. Based on Microsoft’s own schedule, Microsoft Edge Canary is updated every single day, while the Dev channel receives updates every week. The Beta build receives a major update every 6 weeks.

On Windows 10, new versions of Microsoft Edge will continue to be shipped through Windows Update, while the rest of the OS versions will have to install updates manually when they go live.