Microsoft Edge

Introduction

Microsoft Edge is a web browser. It is designed to relay the HTTPS and other web-related protocol from the computer to the internet and vice versa. Microsoft developed Edge Browser. The tech giant founded by Bill Gates in 1975 is headquartered in Washington, USA. Microsoft Edge was initially released in 2015 to work on computers with Windows 10 OS and Xbox One, and it is a build-up to the initial default installation of Internet Explorer in computer with Microsoft Windows operating systems.

In 2017, Microsoft released the client application for Android, iPhone, and iPad. Subsequently, they released the macOS version in 2019. Unlike other popular web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, etc., which is compatible with all Windows OS, Edge only works on Windows 10. However, in a statement released on Windows blog, there is a plan to have the browser on previous versions of Windows.

In this review, we discuss in details this browser that is about to compete in the highly competitive market.

About Edge Browser

Edge browser was first built with EdgeHTML and Chakra engine. However, it is being rebuilt as a Chromium-based browser using V8 and Blink engines. Chromium is open source, and its browsers are known for their fast speed. In a highly saturated market, Statista released statistics for the Global market share of Internet browsers. Chrome has the largest market with 62.65% as of March 2019, followed by Safari with 15.66% and Firefox 4.7%. Edge has a 2.81% behind UC Browser, Samsung, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

Edge includes Cortana with other extensions available on Microsoft Store. It is presently the default web browser on Windows 10. Designed with a blue startup page and a clean interface, it has a hub for favorites, reading lists, downloads, and history. It has an integrated Adobe Flash Player to allow uninterrupted access to websites bypassing security checks. It also has an inbuilt PDF reader to read documents.

Although it is not the default browser, Internet Explorer is still available on Windows 10, and you can access it via Edge. Notable Microsoft online platforms such as voice control, search functionality, and address bar search are integrated into the browser. It allows users to store files on OneDrive. However, unlike Chrome and Firefox, you cannot save pages for offline reading.

Microsoft Edge has four channels, namely, Canary, Dev, Beta, and Stable. These channels are collectively called the “Microsoft Edge Insider Channels,” and they support Mac, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating systems. Click the following links to download the Dev channel for Android, iOS, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10.

Features                                                           

As a new browser, Microsoft Edge continually undergoes development. Outlined are its present features;

Secure Browsing

Microsoft Edge offers secure and private browsing for its users. It has a favorites tab which studies your online behavior and frequently visited sites and adds them to list. With a Microsoft account, you can sync all your passwords and internet information across all your devices, thus making it easy for you to fill forms with saved information. It also has InPrivate tabs for private browsing. While browsing using this feature, all browsing data isn’t saved on the device when you collapse the tabs.

Personalization

You can personalize your web browser for better user experience. The Reading view option helps you to reorganize content on the webpage to gain focus. Use the AdBlock Plus feature to block ads for popping on the browser. To activate, click the Settings -> Content Blockers. You can also change the theme by shopping from the Microsoft store.

Fast Speed

Microsoft Edge is a Chromium-based browser. It helps to ensure more excellent web compatibility across all platforms. You enjoy speedier browsing using the browser, thus saving time for other activities.

Cortana

Cortana is a virtual web assistant created by Microsoft. Integrated into the web browser, you can get answers to questions, read lyrics to songs, access the latest deals, etc. You can discover more about any subject with a right-click.

Reading View/PDF Viewer

Microsoft has an inbuilt PDF viewer to view PDF documents. You can also capture your thoughts on books with the Reading view using various reading tools. The Microsoft store also has books that reflect your opinions while browsing, so you can check for suggestions.

Multi-Platform Compatibility

Microsoft is compatible with Android and iOS devices. Download the application from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Also, Microsoft Edge is presently available on Windows 10 and Mac operating systems. There is however no installation file for the browser. It is installed by default on Windows 10 and Mac systems. It is also available on Xbox One.

Virtual Reality

Microsoft Edge supports virtual reality experiences on the web for HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality. It also supports 4K Ultra HD and Dolby Audio, thus giving an enjoyable cinematic experience.

Multilingual Support

The browser is available in over 20 languages, including English, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, German, French, etc.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It provides secure browsing: Microsoft Edge is a secure web browser. Although recently released, it gives its users an excellent internet browsing experience. It has a private browsing feature where you can browse without storing your browsing data, i.e., cookies, cache, browsing history on the system.
  • It is Chromium-based: Originally built with the EdgeHTML and Chakra engines, plans are underway to using the open-source Chromium code in rebuilding the browser as announced in December 2018. The preview for Mac, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 operating system has been released and available for download.
  • Personalization: You can personalize your browsing experience on the browser. You can arrange the content on its interface to your taste.

Cons

  • There is no installation file for the browser. In case it is damaged, you’ll have to relaunch the Windows 10 installation file to repair the browser.
  • It is not compatible with Linux and previous versions of Windows except Win10.

Compatibility

Microsoft Edge Browser is compatible with smartphones, i.e., Android, and iOS (iPhone and iPad). It is available on desktop computers with Windows 10 operating system. Its Mac supported version was also recently released. It is also available on Xbox One.

FAQs

Q: How do I download Microsoft edge browser?

A: It is not possible to download Microsoft Edge Browser. It is part of the Windows 10 installation package and doesn’t exist as a single file. The only installation file available for download is the Dev channel Chromium-based browser preview released by Microsoft for Mac, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 systems.

Q: Is Microsoft Edge a good browser?

A: Yes, it is a good browser with exciting features. It provides a safe, secure web browsing experience. With educative features like Cortana, Reading List, PDF viewer, you can learn while browsing. It also has a private browsing feature which allows users to browse without having their browsing history saved on the browser. It also provides virtual reality experience with its inbuilt media player.

Q: Is Microsft Edge faster?

A: To test if a browser is fast or slow, we use JavaScript to measure its responsiveness. From tests, it is observed that Chrome is relatively faster than Microsoft Edge browser.

Q: How many people use Microsoft Edge?

A: It is impossible to ascertain the exact number of who use Microsoft. However, following the statistics released by Statista, Edge maintains a 2.18% share amongst all internet browsers worldwide.

Summary                                             

Edge is a web browser released in 2015. It is designed to replace Internet Explorer, the default browser on Windows supported systems. Microsoft Edge is presently available only for the Windows 10 operating system. It provides fantastic features to have a good web browsing experience. Also available on Android, iOS, MacOS, and Xbox One, Edge browser offers a safe, secure web browsing experience.