[German]Microsoft has raised the Edge browser to version 111.0.1661.41 (and version 110.0.1587.69 in the Extended Stable Channel) on March 13, 2023 – security and bug fixes are included. In addition to fixed security vulnerabilities come some new Edge functionality, as well as the monstrous, much-criticized, but non-disable Bing button (Edge Copilot).
Edge 111.0.1661.41 (Stable Channel)
According to the release notes, the update in the stable channel to version 111.0.1661.41 (March 13, 2023) serves to introduce some new features. For example, a new Microsoft Edge sidebar will be available, which includes the following highlights.
New Discover/Edge Copilot
A new feature that Microsoft says helps users increase productivity and efficiency. It offers, says Microsoft, intelligent suggestions and insights based on the context of the Web page and the user's goals. It goes on to say: As a new Bing icon in the toolbar, Edge Copilot helps users compose better emails, search the Web faster and learn new skills – all in a convenient way.
What is probably meant is the integration of ChatGPT and Bing into Edge, but this will only be seen by users who are already registered for Bing's AI features. Then you could use the Edge Copilot to chat with Bing or have the AI generate text for you.
This "innovation" in particular is a classic example of how far Microsoft has distanced itself from its user base and lives in cloud cuckoo land. The "Bing button", as this icon is called, was already heavily criticized by users in the Insider Preview. Martin Geuß addressed it in this German article and asks if the Microsoft developers were drunk on the liquor number 111 in the Edge version release. The "we take your feedback seriously" bubble tends to run under "read, punched and filed" in Redmond.
When I read through the article by Martin Geuß, it is a complete tear-down of Microsoft Edge – and the hollow phrase of "productivity" in the texts Microsoft only an expression of "they must have been blotto while writing". As Martin writes about the keyword "productivity", which Microsoft always puts in the foreground: "This is now hardly given with Microsoft Edge, on the contrary. If you want to work efficiently, Edge gets in the way more and more often and distracts you with some well-intentioned advice and "great" features. A once good product has now been almost completely ruined."
News with the sidebar
Furthermore, Microsoft advertises the improved visibility of the sidebar, which can be hidden automatically if it is not needed. Such automatisms have never worked in the past and probably don't currently. If the user hovers the mouse over the Bing icon, this activates the hover function, which opens the sidebar – exactly what people criticized in the Insider Preview, because the thing always shows up unintentionally.
AAdministrators, however, have the ability to control and customize the sidebar and its features as needed using settings described in this Microsoft post.
Microsoft Feed on Microsoft 365 Edge tab
In Edge Enterprise, there's a new Microsoft 365 tab that lets you read Microsoft feeds and "productivity content" in a supposedly improved layout. Productivity tabs such as Important Emails, Recent SharePoint Pages, Upcoming Events and To Do are moved to the right side of the Microsoft 365 tab.
Enhancements in Advanced Security Mode
The advanced security mode now supports WebAssembly for macOS x64 and Linux x64. More cross-platform support (ARM64) is expected in the future. For more information, see Safer browsing with Microsoft Edge.
Policy to clear IE mode data on browser exit
The policy InternetExplorerModeClearDataOnExitEnabled controls whether browsing history is cleared from Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer mode each time Microsoft Edge is closed. Users can also configure this setting in the "Clear browser data for Internet Explorer" option in the Privacy, Search and Services menu of Settings (edge://settings/privacy).
The release notes also state the following new policies:
- InternetExplorerModeClearDataOnExitEnabled – Clear history for IE and IE mode every time you exit
- MouseGestureEnabled – Mouse Gesture Enabled
- PrintPreviewStickySettings – Configure the sticky print preview settings
The new Edge version 111.0.1661.41 includes the latest security fixes from the Chromium project (see this page, as well as the blog post Google Chrome version 111.0.5563.64/65 and 110.0.5481.192 from March 8, 2023). In the Chrome browser, 40 vulnerabilities have been closed. The colleagues at deskmodder write that 21 vulnerabilities were fixed in Edge 111.0.1661.41 and 8 in Edge 110.0.1587.69.
Edge 110.0.1587.69 (Extended Stable Channel)
Version 110.0.1587.69 of Edge was also released in the Extended Stable Channel. There, security vulnerabilities in the Edge browser were closed (the list can be found here). Both browsers should automatically update to the current version.
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MS Edge 111.0.1661.43 released Wed. March 15