Microsoft has had a very “colorful” history with the Web, to put it nicely. Although Internet Explorer conquered that market long ago, the company rested on its laurels until the crown was wrested away from it by Firefox and Chrome. It then hastily scrambled to rectify that situation but only fell flat on its face again with the first version of Microsoft Edge. Now it wants to put that chapter of its history behind it and will automatically do so starting April, whether users like it or not.
Microsoft has been pushing the new Edge browser, ironically based on a technology that isn’t its own, in the past few months. Like the initial Windows 10 push, it was aggressive, in your face, and sometimes leaves users with very little choice anyway. Either that or it’s sneaky and pulls the rug out from under their feet instead.
For those who are technologically and emotionally invested in what Microsoft now calls “Edge Legacy”, the company is now giving notice. Starting with the cumulative monthly security update on April 13, 2021, or earlier for those on the March Preview, that old edgeHTML-based browser will be automatically uninstalled, no questions asked. Microsoft does assure that apps that use the edgeHTML component won’t have to worry as the web rendering engine will still be supported.
That update, however, will also install the new Microsoft Edge as well, at least if it wasn’t installed yet by some previous update. Microsoft promises that it will still respect Windows 10’s settings so it won’t suddenly become your default browser if you previously set Chrome in that spot. It does mention anything about automatically migrating browser-related data like history or bookmarks.
It’s really no surprise that Microsoft wants to banish legacy Edge from people’s computers, especially since it no longer supported the browser with updates starting March 9. It may, however, sound a bit sudden, though, hopefully, there have been very few users that depend on Edge Legacy at this point.