Today is the day that I’m going to try and get over my previous preconceptions of the Chrome browser and deploy it out into a large environment. Regardless of my point of view I suppose there are more arguments then ever as to why it is useful to have more then one web browser available, namely the ability to have an alternative to Internet Explorer. My belief is that this will be helpful in testing the functionality of new or faulty websites. Personally I have always held quite a strong opinion that sites should work in IE first then other browsers second. I’m not sure if everyone would agree with this point of view, but from a support perspective it’s the correct one in my experience. If you are designing with a different level of compatibility in mind then a header/icon/widget/notification indicating which browser the website was built for may be a worthwhile consideration. I’m sure the end users would be appreciative of this information…
I did some quick research and initially considered that my thought process in this respect may be a little outdated:-
These stats are intended to be a reflection of global usage. When it comes to managing a Windows environment as part of a larger deployment (i.e. not domestic use) Internet Explorer is still the most common browser in my opinion. This is mainly due to it being packaged as part of the Windows Operating Systems, however also includes the rationale in being able to manage the configuration via GPO and security updates via WSUS. Although the most popular Web Browser may have changed trends over time, Microsoft are still seeming to hold up a good 70-80% of OS deployments:-
Taking into consideration that Chrome seems to be rocking the popularity stats quite well this is the browser that I have currently deemed the best alternative to use. I’m a Firefox/Cyberfox lover personally, however it’s what I get asked for more often and the stats are providing a strong argument for proceeding down this path.
My initial search took me to the “Chrome for Business” page. Couldn’t help but think that this seems somewhat reminiscent of the “Skype for Business” setup. That was one of the first pieces of 3rd party software I configured using GPO settings. The key with extra settings that aren’t native to Group Policy is obtaining an “.adm” file that basically maps the Group Policy Management options to various registry keys on the end workstations. Once this is obtained and loaded up manipulating the required settings often seems more humane to me.
I knew that once I’d dealt with the ‘.adm’ I’d need some guidance in which were the best options to choose. A little bit of keyword magic (“lockdown chrome gpo”) and moments later we’re in action:-
Unfortunately Google had a little surprise in store whilst going through the first table of recommendations. I had to correct the following lines within the “chrome.adm” file before adding the template into the group policy object.
DefaultPluginsSetting_Policy="Default Plugins Setting"
DefaultPluginsSetting_Part="Default Plugins Setting"
DefaultPopupsSetting_Policy="Default Popups Setting"
DefaultPopupsSetting_Part="Default Popups Setting"
From this stage the PDF obtained from the Intelliadmin website is quite detailed in terms of which GPO settings are considered the most appropriate. It seems logically ordered and I optimistically expect to have a solution in place in the near future **Fingers Crossed**.
It’s a dawn to a new era of browsing! I am hopeful this will help to alleviate Website specific investigations and provide our end users with the ability to self diagnose problems that little bit further then normal, time will tell.