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.
In this post
What is Microsoft Edge?
Microsoft Edge is the new browser that replaces Internet Explorer. Is now the default web browser aplication for Windows 10 and 11, and mobile Windows, as well as Xbox One, and Xbox Series X and S.
Something that’s unique about Microsoft Edge, is that you can download it for other operating systems, including macOS, Linux and Linux distributions. There is a version of Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS too, making it a cross-platfrom browser.
How does Microsoft Edge work?
While Edge has been in the works for years, Microsoft rebuilt Edge in 2018, operating on the Chromium open source code. It works with the Blink web engine, developed by high profile companies, including Adobe, IBM, Intel and Meta, besides Microsoft itself. By basing the browser in the Chromium engine, they offer a faster browser and compatibility with extensions.
Microsoft Edge Review: 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.
Microsoft edge features:
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 the big benefits of such integration, security is another – Windows Hello, for instance, greets users with a friendly login screen that doesn’t store passwords on devices.
Disadvantages of Microsoft Edge?
Every browser has its fans, and some people can never get used to the feeling of one particular browser. While some users swear by Microsoft Edge’s multiple features, it is not all sunshine, and there are some disadvantages to using the browser.
Here are some downsides for users:
The user interface can be better
While Edge is designed to be similar to the Chrome browser in terms of design and appearance, this can have drawbacks. When starting the browser, users get served a feed of curated news and content related to their interests and location. This feature may annoy some users which prefer the clean sheet of other browsers.
The similarity to the Chrome browser can play against Microsoft Edge if having performance issues. Some non-Windows users may see no reason to change browsers when they feel nothing unique or innovative.
Unstable performance compared to other browsers
Microsoft Edge claims to have faster loading times and better performance than Chrome and Firefox. However, this is not the case all the time. Because the browser’s performance is affected by hardware resources, Internet connection speed, and site characteristics, Edge doesn’t offer consistent performance.
According to a test run by Avast, Edge runs faster than Chrome and the other browsers. But other tests give Chrome the advantage on Windows OS.
Chrome is known for its myriad of extensions for everything. Edge doesn’t have as many extensions, and while you can use extensions from the Chrome store, you have to set them up manually.
Can’t sync often
Other browsers offer you seamless synchronization, so you can have the same experience on every product of the system and use extensions without having to remember each password. Edge is still in the early stages in regard to synchronization and is still more limited than other browsers.
What Are the Benefits of Microsoft Edge Browser?
Here are some benefits of using the Microsoft Edge Browser:
Edge uses less memory than other browsers.
Compared to Google Chrome and other browsers, Microsoft Edge uses less memory; according to a test by Tom’s Guide, with 60 tabs open, Edge only used 2.9 GB RAM against 3.7 GB of Chrome.
It is based on the Chromium Codebase.
This is one of the top advantages of Microsoft Edge because it makes Edge feel familiar to Chrome and Opera users. The user interface and experience have a minimalist design and feel lightweight.
Edge has unique features that improve the accessibility to the browser. For example, people with vision problems have a read-aloud function in a natural way. Another noteworthy feature is the “Immersive Reader,” which enables you to highlight the most important parts of an article while customizing the fonts.
Edge is improving users’ security and privacy by offering more possibilities to protect your data. With Microsoft Edge, you can block trackers from sites, choosing the level of tracking and adjusting how much personal information the sites can know about you.
The “tracking prevention” feature allows you to choose between three levels of tracking. The basic option allows web tracking by most websites but blocks known malicious trackers. The second tier is the balanced option, which blocks all trackers from new websites and limits targeted ads. The strict option only allows a minimum of targeted ads while blocking most trackers.
You can save a group of pages at once
How many times did you wish you could group a set of tabs and label it? Well, with Edge, you can. Now you don’t need to guess which group of tabs you want to open on the preview. With Edge, you can name the group, opening the set of tabs simultaneously. It is very useful to people (like me) who often have more than 50 tabs open simultaneously. You can create a group of tabs for work, and another for personal use, for example.
Customizable user profiles
You can create profiles for different users without the need to create different accounts. Each profile stores its own history, extensions, payment information, passwords, preferences and settings. You can also differentiate between local and cloud profiles. The first one stores the data in a set device. The cloud profile settings can make the information accessible through a cloud service.
Microsoft Edge vs. Chrome
While the two products are very similar, there are a few differences. Let’s compare the features of Google vs. Microsoft Edge one by one:
Uses less RAM than Chrome
Which is better, Chrome or Edge?
In reality, it is a matter of personal preference and your device. If you commonly use Microsoft products, using Edge to sync and integrate all your work seamlessly is better. If you currently work mostly with Google products, then staying in Chrome is the logical choice.
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.
6 Reasons to Use Microsoft Edge
When I heard Microsoft replaced their web browser to build a new one in the same code that supports Chrome, I wondered why not use Chrome, then? However, after seeing the new features of the Edge in Windows 11, I can give you seven reasons why Microsoft Edge is a better option.
Among the useful features, you may list a customizable home page, the collections feature, stackable tabs, more speed, and even a built-in screenshot tool. Here is my list of the top six reasons to consider using Microsoft Edge for your web browsing.
- Customizable home page: You can have multiple home pages, each with a customized layout.
- Money-saving online shopping: Automatically find coupon codes for the shopping site you visit, and will automatically try all applicable coupons and use a cashback program if available.
- Features for tab hoarders: You can group and color code groups of tabs, choose where to show them (vertical or horizontally), and more features that make life easier for those who keep a large number of tabs open.
- Immersive reading mode: Other browsers have dark modes, but Edge highlights and auto scroll the text, even reading the text aloud for those with reading or visual difficulties.
- Built-in full-page screenshots: Yes, you can use PrtSc, but Edge allows you to select which area of the page you want to screenshot. After screenshotting, you can mark it up and add to a collection.
- Progressive Web Apps: Edge can launch websites as apps via a button in the browser’s toolbar.
Is Microsoft Edge good?
The new Edge offers the same smooth browsing experience and the familiar look of Chrome, with better features that enhance the user experience. Almost anything that works with Chrome can also be used on Edge, including extensions, bookmarks, and passwords. It has all the useful features of Google Chrome but improved, such as grouping tabs in color-coded collections.
Is Microsoft Edge better than Chrome?
Edge has several advantages over Chrome. It is faster, uses fewer resources, and has better privacy protection features. It has built-in defenses against phishing and malware and more customization options.
Does Microsoft Edge cost money?
It is a free application included with the Windows 10 and up versions.
What does Microsoft Edge help you do?
Edge includes an extensive set of built-in learning and accessibility features. It helps with reading comprehension with the Immersive Reader, accessibility through the Read Aloud feature, and even solves math problems.
Is Edge a web browser?
Edge as a web browser is fast and secure, available for mobile, computer, and other connected devices. It also uses Microsoft’s web search engine, Bing.