A minimalistic, lightweight web browser with reading mode and PDF viewing capabilities
A new Windows 10 browser that Microsoft once gave the code name, "Project Spartan," Microsoft Edge has leaped forward in many realms since its earliest versions. Some people, however, might be put off because the company did nothing to change the "e" logo of the previous Internet Explorer. Where the browser excels is in terms of raw performance. You can render pages at jaw-dropping speeds, and you see fewer issues when rendering a more complex website. Microsoft could have done a better job at replacing the aging "Silverlight tech;" however, which tells you how you're about to open Internet Explorer instead.
The advantage of Microsoft Edge is how you have a plethora of features and new ones being added with every new patch. For example, you have a panel to say the Reading List, the Favorites, the Downloads, and the History. You can also browse in private where your URLs will not be recorded. Microsoft deliberately chose to make the settings low to add more simplicity, but you can choose to add a Favorites bar or configure your home page. Another perk of Microsoft Edge is how you have built-in note-taking mode to annotate various web pages. It sounds frivolous, but it comes in handy for students doing online research. When you enter into reading mode, it strips away the excess content to direct your undivided focus to the article.
Cortana's Role in Edge
Arguably one of the better reasons to use Microsoft Edge boils down to the use of Cortana, Windows 10's digital assistant. You type the desired information wanted into Cortana's address bar, and this will show you the location of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Cortana also acts a lot like Apple's Siri where you "Ask Cortana" and what you want will be highlighted. Next, you will see a sidebar with search results and extra information, such as coupons or the opening hours of restaurants.
Cortana becomes a great partner when you want to research various subjects, and with the number of settings, you can set it to your personal needs. It lets you get fast answers. Even with Google's automatic fast speeds, few things compare to the integrated assistant. Unlike searching through Google, you can learn about your subject without leaving your page or having to open a new tab.
Microsoft Edge's Innovations
Edge has done some interesting things with the apps, and it takes advantage of various improvements. For example, you have the Anniversary Update. The Anniversary Update means the browser will send you fewer messages, and you can ask for lost packets or download at quicker speeds. In addition, Windows will turn off Wi-Fi sooner so that your computer saves on battery life. Unfortunately, Edge's power-saving features still fall a little behind the rest of the pack, but the standards still keep you surfing the web at higher speeds. You still might not choose this as your go-to web browser, but it's worth checking out to decide if you'd like it.
Doing Away with Old Dependencies
Where Microsoft Edge improved since Internet Explorer is they did away with some of the redundancies and useless improvements of Internet Explorer. Basically, what held the old web browser back has been removed. For example, Microsoft Edge has faster speeds and less vulnerability to cyber attacks. Only a few of the mandatory elements have been integrated into the interface, which will work well with most websites. However, a little further research and you will find Microsoft may have oversimplified its browser. It lacks many of the features a lot of people consider essential. For example, your Favorites bar will be hidden, and like Google Chrome, you have no customization features to display your tabs or add a status bar to your browser UI.
Microsoft Edge is a lot like Internet Explorer where what you see is what you get. For the user who wants to cut the confusion of excess customization, that might satisfy a certain type of person, but not everyone will find that appealing.
No Support of User Profiles
Unlike with Firefox, you cannot use multiple profiles for separate tasks. For example, you can't use the tabs for work with one, one for web browsing, another secure online banking and another for testing. It sounds like a nitpick, but user profiles can separate your work from your less essential activities. In the age of distraction, user profiles keep you focused on the task at hand. Also, the more specialized profiles will use extra security, and like with online banking, you want the additional encryption to protect your data.
Microsoft Edge: A Hidden Advantage over Chrome and Firefox
Every web browser has its advantages and disadvantages. Where Microsoft Edge shines is if you want to watch Netflix, the web browser supports a higher resolution than any of the other web browsers. Microsoft Edge can support 1080p resolution while Chrome and Firefox only support 720p. If you want to confirm the resolution of each browser, hit the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Alt-S while playing a video. You will see the information supported for video and audio bit rates.
Microsoft Edge's Performance
Since Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge has done a great job of increasing the performance speeds. You do occasionally experience some slowdowns, and the scrolling can sometimes feel sticky, but in general, you have a browser with impeccable performance. It's a remarkable improvement since Internet Explorer 11. When it came to an HTML 5 test, Microsoft Edge scored 453 out of 555. Meanwhile, Firefox didn't score much better with a 478 out of 555. Finally, you had Google Chrome, which scored the highest with 521 out of 555. The HTML5 browser test looks at how well the browser will support the HTML5 standard.