Microsoft Asking Developers to Add Edge in Site Compatibility List
Last week I got a very curious email in my inbox. It supposedly came from Microsoft and was a report about Code::Stats’s compatibility on Edge and what modern browsers it suggests as a replacement for Internet Explorer. I will quote the key parts:
We are reaching out to you on the behalf of the Microsoft browser team. […] We were doing compatibility testing on Internet Explorer and noticed that https://codestats.net does not support IE. We understand that your web experience requires a modern browser (screenshot below), so we wanted to reach out and share information about Microsoft Edge, our new Chromium based modern browser intended as a replacement for Internet Explorer. We launched in January and have seen exciting momentum since.
Asks to your team: We have tested and ensured that your web experience works well on Microsoft Edge. […] Given the compatibility, we would love to have Microsoft Edge be one of the upgrade options that your users see when visiting your site on Internet Explorer.
What followed were some technical instructions on how to have a link on the site that opens in Edge. The links in the email pointed to the correct Edge download page and the instructions looked fine. There was even a screenshot from Code::Stats taken on an IE system, showing the dialog that warns IE users of their browser being unsupported.
The email was signed:
Industry Outreach | Microsoft Edge platform engineering
At first I quickly dismissed this as just a spam email. It was unasked for and something about the
language felt fishy. But looking at the headers, the email did come from Outlook servers, the
reply-to and CC addresses end in
@microsoft.com, and there apparently is a person with that name
working at Microsoft (judging by a partial LinkedIn page that I can see since I don’t have an
account myself). In addition, I found
this old FreeNAS issue where the same name appears. So
I think despite the first appearance, it is a legit email from Microsoft.
It seems like Microsoft has an initiative going on where they contact website owners that have added IE warnings and ask that Edge be included in the options if modern alternatives to IE are suggested. I couldn’t find any other results about this online, but surely Code::Stats is not that important that they’d make such an email just for me. It must be some kind of semi automated project they have going on.
As for what I did with the warning on the site, well… After having to connect to my elder relatives’ laptop because Edge had decided to replace Firefox as the default browser, not to mention all the other times they have called me due to Windows pushing Edge in different ways… no thanks. I can deal with Edge being installed by default, but I hate the way Windows tries to pretty much trick you into using it, especially those less skilled with computers. I do appreciate Microsoft moving on from IE and hope they can fight a bit against the Google browser monoculture, but I don’t agree with their methods.
In fact, since I no longer use Vivaldi personally and cannot recommend Google Chrome due to various reasons, I just dropped everything except Firefox. Small statement to make especially due to dwindling amounts of IE visitors, but it’s there.