The new Microsoft Edge Browser is the Windows 10 answer to Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, and, of course, Internet Explorer.
This new internet browser promises to be sleeker, slimmer, faster, and better, but does it deliver?
Let’s find out.
Overview: What Edge Brings to the Table
Microsoft Edge began as Project Spartan, a code name for its successor to Internet Explorer. While Internet Explorer will still be available to existing corporate customers and those who don’t upgrade to Windows 10, Edge brings plenty of new features to the table.
Here are just a few:
- Lightweight design – Edge learned from the mistakes of Internet Explorer and the improvements of competitors, such as Chrome. Its lightweight design uses less memory, so it cuts down on initial load time.
- Faster surfing – Likewise, Edge’s lower memory use makes for faster surfing, quicker page loading, and a much better user experience.
- Super-smooth scrolling – The lightweight UI carries over to the browser. Like the latest version of Word and other Windows 10 products, Edge decided to cut out the jerky stop-motion scrolling that characterized past versions of Internet Explorer. This detail may seem small, but once you try it, you may be impressed.
- Distraction-free reading – Edge has a distraction-free reading mode, which allows you to trim back on irrelevant content, download pages, and read them at your leisure. When you find articles you want to take with you, simply download them with the push of a button, then open up the Reading List at your convenience.
- Instant answers – Like many of the other tech giants, Microsoft is beginning to offer immediate gratification, with services such as Cortana. Since Cortana is integrated with Cortana, Edge can offer instant answers to a number of common questions. When searching for weather, for instance, Edge displays it directly in the browser.
- Note-taking – Ever want to write directly on a web page? Well, now you can. With touch-screen devices such as Surface, or even the mouse, you can write, doodle, and highlight directly on the web. Once you push the “Make a web note” button, you can add your notes, then share that annotated page with friends, family, or coworkers.
- Enterprise-grade security – Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge tout their security features, acknowledging that cybersecurity is more important than ever. Windows itself has enhanced Smart Screen and Windows Defender, and all new Microsoft products have integrated Microsoft account functionality. While personalization and productivity are both big benefit of such integration, security is another – Windows Hello, for instance, greets users with a friendly login screen that doesn’t store passwords on devices.
Microsoft Edge for Developers
One of the biggest issues with Edge is its lack of extension support. Those who want to install plugins will have to wait until corresponding add-ons have been developed.
Developers need not worry, however, since Microsoft already has a developer portal, which has several features that developers can find useful.
- There are virtual machines for testing and development purposes.
- RemoteIE allows free testing with Azure Remote App.
- A GitHub page contains open-sourced demo sites.
- A screenshot generator lets developers see how their page would look across different generations of browsers.
- A roadmap shows where Windows 10 and Edge are headed in the future.
Clearly, Edge is ready for further development.
There is already plenty of opportunity for developers who wish to expand their offerings to Edge.
As for users who are hesitant to adopt Edge due to its lack of plugin support, they probably won’t have to wait too long before plugins start appearing.
Microsoft Edge and Windows 10: Roadmap to the Future
It’s obvious that Edge is more than just an upgraded Internet Explorer.
Learning from its own customers and the state of the marketplace, Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 have taken big strides towards a more connected world.
Tech giants are scrambling to offer streamlined, omnichannel experiences that bring personalized, immediate value to users, regardless of their device. While Microsoft has made some blunders in the past, its foothold in the tech industry gives it the ability to innovate right alongside companies such as Facebook and Google.
Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge are perfect examples of this innovation. With this new release of Windows and its latest browser, Microsoft has been able to offer much – if not more – of the value that its competitors are offering.
- Edge offers the same sleek minimalism and speed that Chrome does, and promises a future full of plugins, add-ons, and apps.
- Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant program, competes with Siri, Google Now, and Facebook’s new assistant, M.
- With Windows 10, Office 365, and Microsoft Edge, Microsoft has introduced a new era of easy online collaboration for the workplace, friends, and family.
- The Microsoft operating system and software suite will help bring the web and multimedia to the HoloLens and similar AR and VR devices.
With Edge and the latest wave of Microsoft products, the tech giant has proven that it can still innovate.