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Microsoft Edge, New to Windows 10



The release of windows 10 has brought about a new interesting battle in the world of internet browsers. Windows Edge is the new and improved browser that has taken over from the previous Internet Explorer. Edge has first been introduced in the newly released Windows 10 and upon first impressions, it looks as if Microsoft has done an excellent job in updating its previously slow and ineffective product.

Visually Edge has been given a stylish and modern look, updated to mirror the sleek look of the Windows 10 UI. It is designed to be usable for both desktops and tablet mode to appeal to those using the variety of windows based tablets. EdgeHTML is the name of the new layout engine used for the browser which Microsoft has revealed it was designed for “interoperability with the modern web”. This helps developers when making sure web features work consistently across multiple browsers. EdgeHTML was based off a version of its previous Trident engine that removed a large portion of its previous legacy code and reworked much of its source code. Initial benchmarks even had the Edge browser beating out its competition in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, however still falling behind its competition in more modern benchmarks.

Beyond the improvements to the design of the browser, Microsoft has also added the ability for Edge to work with a new feature added in Windows 10 called Cortana. Cortana allows the user to highlight words in a webpage and directly search for key terms. Furthermore an extra feature called Cortana Assist can highlight important information on a page such as phone numbers or addresses. This could be helpful for example when looking for an office or restaurant.

Whilst these new features seem quite impressive at first, the lack of add-on extensions really hurts the release of Microsoft Edge. Missing out on popular add-ons such as Ad block to stop those pesky ads and inhibit unwanted videos from automatically loading. Whilst Microsoft has stated that the extension feature is coming, we can’t help but feel not offering extensions upon release may have hindered its uptake.

With recent statements from google that is has now reached over 1 billion users, it will be hard for Microsoft to make the tough climb back into the market. However the introduction of Edge has been a step in the right direction. Delivering a polished product that is both user friendly and intuitive. With improvements to come in regards to extension support and performance, windows may have a browser that can eventually rival Google’s Chrome.

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