Microsoft’s New Edge Browser, Is Ready To Download
Microsoft stripped the beta label from the browser on Wednesday, and you’ll now download it from Microsoft’s Edge website.
Introduced in 2015, Edge was a part of a modernization effort that stripped out old Internet Explorer code. The software giant couldn’t keep the browser compatible with enough websites, however, and customers started dumping it.
The remake of Edge marks a foundational change within the browser: a shift to Chromium, Google’s open-source foundation for the Chrome browser. Using Chromium resolves those compatibility problems.
The remake of the browser features a different logo — a circular crashing wave tinted blue, green and aqua that’s like the old blue IE “e” icon.
Shifting to Chromium — a choice already made by developers of Samsung, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, et al. adds even more influence to Google’s vision for the online.
Those allies collaborate with Google, but Google still holds outsized influence compared with the remaining browser engines, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari. Some bemoan the loss of Microsoft’s independent influence, but the sensible reality is that it held minimal sway. More and more, it’s Google’s web, and we’re just living in it.
Microsoft’s Edge sales talk
Productivity is represented by features like Collections, which allows you to amass information from many websites as you’re planning travel, researching a paper or otherwise digging deeper into the online.
Edge also dovetails with Microsoft’s sign-in technology utilized in businesses so your Edge login information is that the same as your email.
As for privacy, Edge is taking an identical approach to Mozilla’s Firefox by trying to dam an inventory of known sites that track you online.
It’s associated with Apple’s anti-tracking technology already in Safari and Brave, too.
Google’s Chrome is that the laggard here, but Google is ramping up its browser privacy effort. So Edge’s privacy protections don’t lift it above the gang, a minimum of for now.
For now, Microsoft is aiming Edge mostly at commercial customers, where IT managers like its integration with Microsoft management tools and its compatibility with ancient website tools that need IE and haven’t been updated for the fashionable browsing era.
It also shows you likely Office documents of interest on your new-tab page and integrates with Bing searches to surface other information from employers that use Microsoft’s software suite.
Over time, Microsoft will still flesh out Edge’s features, giving it new ways to face out.
Today there are just a couple of, just like the ability to observe 4K Netflix video (on Windows 10 only) or to annotate PDFs with a stylus. On Apple’s higher-end MacBook Pros, Edge also takes advantage of the Touch Bar by showing a strip of falcons, those little icons websites use to spot themselves.
Microsoft also plans other Touch Bar features for Edge like showing a miniature video window.