Could Microsoft Edge Be Your New Web Browser?


To date, one of the biggest standouts in Windows 10 is the new Microsoft Edge browser.

For many, it’s just a relief to say goodbye to Internet Explorer once and for all. (You won’t have Internet Explorer to kick around anymore.)

After 20 years, many innovations and a long period of stagnation, it took a lot to overhaul this browser.



Jacob Rossi, a senior engineer on Microsoft’s Web platform team, says:

“We’ve fixed over 3,000 interoperability issues (some dating back to code written in the 90s) on top of the over 40 new Web standards we’re working on. For example, longstanding inner HTML issues are now fixed.”

So, is the new Microsoft Edge browser really all that much different than its predecessor? Let’s take a look at some of the early returns on the new Edge browser.

Of course, one of the best places to look for instant reactions is on Twitter. And there, — surprisingly — you’ll find a lot of praise for one of the more hyped additions to the new Windows 10 operating system.

In fact, Twitter users appear to be pleased overall with Edge. Some have even considered switching from another browser, like Chrome, to Microsoft’s new offering. Not everyone who tried out Edge for the first time walked away impressed, however. You get the feeling that some just walked away. But you get the feeling they might come back soon. 

Really, Twitter users have reserved much harsher criticisms for software products in the past. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find those harsh critiques of Edge. It’s mostly praise … so far.

Here are some of the notable features on the new Microsoft Edge browser that separate it from Internet Explorer and what could make it your next Web browser:

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Speed

The one praise Edge continues to get is how much faster it is than IE, especially when stacked up against Google Chrome. On the official Windows blog, Microsoft reports some exciting results, claiming:

The Edge team has been continuing to optimize performance since first adding the new browser to Windows 10. In this build, Microsoft Edge is even better and is beating Chrome and Safari on their own JavaScript benchmarks:

  • On WebKit Sunspider, Edge is 112% faster than Chrome
  • On Google Octane, Edge is 11% faster than Chrome
  • On Apple JetStream, Edge is 37% faster than Chrome”

Microsoft claims this was accomplished with a new rendering engine that eliminated or trimmed the vast majority of the legacy technologies and legacy behaviors that were holding back IE.

In a mobile environment speed is at a premium. And as small businesses deploy their employees with mobile devices, accessing the resources they need is also critical. Those resources could include cloud services, hosted solutions and vendors, to name a few.

The speed also comes without sacrificing battery life, which has been an issue for Chrome users. Although there hasn’t been a real lab test to date, some sites have reported they have seen improved battery life compared to Chrome.

Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant and, until now, it was only available on the Windows Phone platform.

By making it available on Windows 10, Microsoft seamlessly integrates Cortana with the new OS. And nowhere is this integration more useful than with Edge.

When Cortana is used with Bing, it becomes a very useful application for finding additional information on subjects you’re searching.

Whether it is a restaurant or an important vendor in town, the virtual assistant shows you maps, directions, reviews, phone numbers and other business info about what you are searching. With access to weather information, Cortana even tells you if an umbrella is recommended to get there.

As Microsoft increases its database of local information, it can be a great way for small businesses to integrate their CRM solution with Windows 10, Edge and Cortana. They can get valuable data on how their customers are looking at their site and make informed decisions.

Web Notes

This is one of the features that has been getting the most attention, and rightfully so. When all the bugs are worked out, it will increase the efficiency of anyone that is online. If your device has a touchscreen, you can now mark, annotate, draw or put anything on the page.

You can then add it to your favorites or reading list, send it to your colleagues or share it socially. Businesses can use this feature to highlight innovative products, services and features they see on websites and quickly make a note of it.

Reading View

Click the Reading View icon on a website, and the page reloads hiding almost all of the content aside from the article and images. You can also create a reading list which lets you add content so you can read it at a later time even if there isn’t a connection.

Support

The new Microsoft Edge browser will not support tools built for IE11 because they can be a security risk and exhibit slow performance. Tools not supported include Microsoft’s ActiveX, Browsers Helper Objects (BHOS), VBScript and others. However, Edge will support JavaScript-based extensions.

Microsoft says extension support will not come with the initial release of Edge, but it will be available by the end of the year. At least, that is as specific as the company has been thus far.

With so much interest regarding Edge, app developers are eager to add their extensions, including WhatsApp.

Conclusion

Edge is a definite improvement over IE, but for diehard Chrome and Firefox users, it is going to take more to make them jump ship. The changes are incremental, and as Microsoft continues to work out all the bugs, more extensions, apps and features will be part of this browser.

Small businesses that need apps to start working out of the box will have to be a little patient. But all signs point to a bright future for the new Microsoft Edge browser.

Image: Microsoft

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Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

49 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Let’s see how Microsoft Edge compare with the previous browsers. I personally like Firefox. It doesn’t have the bugs that Chrome and other browsers have. I guess I am an old fashioned browser user.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Aira,
      Like I said in the article, it is going to take a lot more than this to get Chrome and Firefox users to jump ship, and your comments proves that point.

    • What a bizarre world we live in, where someone using Firefox can claim to be old-fashioned. Firefox is one of the newest browsers out there; if you want to get old-fashioned, check out Netscape or Lynx. (Or don’t, as they’re grossly out of date). 🙂

    • I agree. I tried Microsoft Edge and I thought it was annoying. I like having control of my browser.

  2. I decided not to switch to Windows 10, because bad reviews prevail.Maybe later I will change my mind. The characteristics of the browser you presented in this article are good, so maybe I will try it and Windows 10 of course.

    • Really? Bad reviews? Have you not talked to anyone who has upgraded and been using it for the past week? I upgraded my Surface Pro on the 29th and two other older laptops. Upgrade was a breeze…less than an hour. I had not issues and the experience was positive like the majority of ‘normal’ users with a ‘normal’ computer set up. I’m enjoying Win 10 with all the new features including Edge. I know Edge isn’t finished, but to me, those are little enhancements that don’t distract from the function and features of this browser. Just the speed of opening up my frequent websites is SO much better than IE……it is worth that to upgrade to Win 10.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Elizabeth, I get why you might be apprehensive about making the move to Windows 10, but it has great features, and Edge and Cortana are just two of them.

      • Michael Guta

        Hi DCJason,
        I like Windows 10, so we are in the same camp, but that is not to say other people don’t like it, or are having a bad experience downloading and installing the OS.

      • Harold Pritchard

        Cortana never worked when I downloaded Win 10. Then it would never let me open Chrome. The only reason Microsoft came out with this “new” operating system is to kill Chrome. Went back to Win. 7.

    • Yeah, Windows 10 rocks. No issues, tis way faster. To download it fast get a 4 gig USB and download the installer from windows. Takes 20 minutes to download and 20 to install.

  3. I’m excited to give it a try, but not until I can carve out some time to handle the Windows 10 upgrade. Those always take longer than you think.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Robert,
      If you accept the reservation, the download is pretty much automatic. I think Microsoft put their thinking caps on this time around.

  4. I have upgraded a total of 7 computers to Windows 10, including 2 work computers that are networked, and chose to keep files, and everything worked and was set up out of the gate. Didn’t even have to reinstall drivers, and one of my work softwares is a customized product. No issues (I used the Windows 10 Media Creation tool instead of the stupid Win 10 upgrade icon, that is touchy – no need to wait for invite).

    One thing that is tough is the edge browser doesn’t currently support extensions yet, so after some digging, learned that the old IE 11 is still on Win 10, just hidden, so I use that when I need it. In fact, all of the old features of Win 7 are still there, but just buried and you can get to them if you search under the help command.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Michael,
      Like I told Robert, I think Microsoft did a great job in the way it decided to deploy the upgrade. I have installed it in one desktop and four laptops without a hitch. However, the lack of extension is my only gripe at the moment, and the company did say they will be rolling that out at the end of the year. So just four months, hopefully.

  5. I agree with Robert. Upgrading to Windows 10 seemed to take for ever!

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Julia,
      I think people in different geographical location where their broadband connection is not optimal are having a problem. I can’t say that is your particular case, but once you get it on your device you will agree it is a great improvement over previous versions of Windows, especially 8.1.

  6. While I am looking forward to Windows 10, I too, am concerned about the install time. I clicked to upgrade 10 minutes ago…”working on it…” as the wheel goes round and round!

  7. Michael Guta

    Hi Andrea,
    Like I told Julia, it is going to take time depending on your broadband connection; remember it is over 3Gbs. However, once you get it you will be pleasantly surprised.

  8. After trying Edge, it’s going to take add-ons support as well as support for anti-virus software such as Norton before I make the switch from Firefox and Chrome. I use both of those browsers on a regular basis, and I have high hopes for Edge, but it wasn’t as polished as it needed to be out of the starting gate. Because I am a big fan of Cortana and Bing, I’ll continue to use Edge for search results and quick searches until I see improvements in Edge.

    • Michael Guta

      HI Jay,
      The full potential of Edge won’t be seen until it extensions are available, fixes the bugs and adds support for other applications like you mentioned, but I think it has many positives. The improved speed, security, Bing and Cortana just to name a few.

  9. I’m running 8.1 with Firefox as my browser of choice. I have considered the upgrade to Win 10, but am thinking that waiting a bit longer will be to my benefit inre teething problems, etc with the new OS. Am I wrong in feeling this way?

    • Anita Campbell

      Hi Norman, I just upgraded two computers this weekend, and it was a pretty seamless experience. No problems. In fact, I like the new Windows 10. It’s easier to find things on my computer, and I am looking forward to experimenting with Cortana. 🙂

      – Anita

  10. Michael Guta

    Hi Norman,
    To be honest I still have one of my remaining laptops running on Window 7. I love that operating system and it will receive support for another five years, so I am in no hurry. I tried 8.1 and it didn’t do nothing for me.
    The reason I am running Windows 7 on that laptop is, I know I will be experiencing the “teething problem” you mentioned, and no you are not wrong in feeling this way. While I have upgraded the rest of my computers to Windows 10, having a backup with a proven platform gives me peace of mind.
    I think Windows 10 is a real improvement though, just be a little patient and you will be OK.

    • I, like you, really liked Win 7, but my machine crashed (hardware, not software) a couple of years ago so I was more of less forced into 8.1. It has been ok, but I do miss 7. But when Geek Squad wants to give you a new machine at no cost, what do you do? I’ll give 10 another couple of months before I upgrade. Wish me luck. Thanks for the reply.

      • Michael Guta

        Hi Norman,
        You are welcome. We appreciate your feedback.
        I would’ve taken it the machine too.
        Good luck, I have a feeling you’ll like Windows 10; it is the best of both worlds with a souped-up Edge.

  11. I have had very poor luck with windows 10. Start button and search do not work. Since installing 10, my laptop continues to drop connection to my router. None of the other computers in that network have the same issue.

    All in all I am very disappointed in windows 10. Because of theses issues I have not spent much time with edge.

  12. Michael, I upgraded and LOVED the speed and feel of W-10 HOWEVER, I did have problems. I have a desktop with a primary AND a secondary drive (slave) where I put entertainment content (photos, movies, music etc). I made shortcuts to those folders on my primary desktop. When I tried to access them, I received a message that the folders were corrupt. I had other folders without shortcuts that worked perfectly well. I had to go back to W-7 to get my content back! Also, I was using OneDrive and Outlook 2010 on W-7 and when I upgraded, I could no longer use Outlook -even I Windows 7. I mention OneDrive only because some of the forums said OneDrive can cause an email issue when upgrading to W-10. I went back to W-7 and had to go into the .pst file and give it administrative rights to work even in W-7. I’ll wait a few months before trying again…..I’m older so I like things that I KNOW work well.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Larrytimm,
      I saw the problems you mentioned regarding OneDrive with W10.

      Some of the comments I found were:

      The only files you can view in the file manager are the ones you select to download onto your computer. As you noticed, the files in the cloud are only viewable in the web app.

      Smart Placeholders were done away with.

      I don’t know if this will help, but maybe by the time you check again it will be fixed.

      I don’t use OneDrive so I really can’t help you. I have my own cloud with two 5TB external drives.

  13. It is a shame, my job requires an internet connection with a Java applet for interaction with a particular secured server, it took me a few tries to find how to regain IE within WIN10, using the “compatability” mode …now I am back to work…there’s still hope of IE. =|8-)

  14. Hi, took forever for 10 to load, now it flashes for Windows to install TrayApp.msi, network resource that isn’t available, can’t find alternate folder for installation package, otherwise enjoying 10

  15. Its ok, does not allow for Pintterest so I’ll stick with irefox for now

  16. ]I have the Microsoft Edge but it says its not compatabile with my windows 10 go figure that put

  17. I recently bought a new computer, which came installed with Windows 10 software and Microsoft Edge as the primary browser. For the last couple of months, using this computer, I have found that Microsoft Edge is much slower than Google Chrome. It often has problems with a “long running script” and takes a long time to load. Also, it seems that the settings on the computer are not compatible with the computer itself, making it difficult to change them. It is functional enough, often irritating, but it works if you have the time to wait and constantly reload webpages. I recommend installing Google Chrome on your computer if you have these problems as well.

  18. I have gone back to the old explorer search engine. I tried Edge and its a disaster. Typing responses or anything using edge and you get freezups, lags in typing, auto correct errors and the like. Just another one of Microsofts many failures.

    • Hi Karia, I am a college student who is having the same problem. I like google chrome too. This new one loses pages and does not want to even try to find what I need. It keeps crashing. At first, it would not even up grade my computer to windows 10. It took three tries. About google chrome, if you have too much information Like junk or files from the past, it starts running slow. Just like windows used to.

  19. Windows is the worst thing that has happened to my computer. I installed it and after two week had to pay an IT man to remove it. My Microsoft 7 professional can run circles around windows 10.

  20. downloaded WIN 10 recently
    Cortana & Edge browser disappeared
    can’t find them

  21. Michael Guta

    Hi Phyllis,
    Sorry to hear you are having problems with WIN 10. I looked at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-other_settings/microsoft-edge-and-cortana-has-disappeared-from/ccb9775a-e903-4771-8c8a-ec2fd03bb321 for the same issue and here is the answer. You can also go directly to the link to see the whole thread.
    I hope it works.

    Method 1:
    Open an Administrator CMD window. If you can’t find a way, use these steps:
    Press CTRL+Shift+ESC to open Task Manager.
    Click File > Run New Task
    Make sure you have a check mark beside “Create this task with administrative privileges”
    Type CMD
    Type the following commands at the CMD prompt:
    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    Method 2: Perform a sfc scan on the computer to check if there are any corruptions on the computer. Please follow the below link to perform a sfc scan on the computer.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929833

  22. I tried win 10 on both my laptop and my system at the house. Was ok until it started slowing down. Then found out that the so-called Cortana is very much like uncle “MIKE” who stands over your shoulder and watches your every move. All in all, it’s not bad and this has nothing to do with Chrome, but I’ll stay with 7 for now. If “they” get rid of Cortana or show you a way to kill it from 10, then I might give it another try.

  23. My issue with Edge is simple : why in the world did they release it without the capability to print selected portions of a page ? You have to reopen the page with IE to do so. Thousand of hours of testing and no one realized that printing portions of articles instead of an entire page was something people do a lot. I made IE my default so far working better than Edge.

  24. And no simple right click to get an option to put a shortcut on the desktop-something else people do a lot.

  25. there is no volume control for edge ridiculous!!!!!!!

  26. I upgraded to 10 on a new tablet after I had it a month. Camera stopped working. No fixes available, (well not one that worked). Edge ran slow and wouldn’t let me go to my favorite webpages. Wouldn’t allow flash or java to run. Would not let me choose which cookies to allow. Granted the newer Firefoxes don’t allow you to choose individually anymore but I use old version 35, still runs fast and I have control over cookies. On Windows 10 I had none of the control that I have with 8.1 and 7. I would turn off Cortana and try to uninstall it and it was running again. I tried to disable it in startup, but it would enable itself again. I even tried disabling it with autorun software and it wouldn’t allow it. I stop Cortana in task manager, and it would start right back up. Cortana kept running in the background and updating stuff which slowed MY browsing down. 10 days and I gave up and went back. Lost everything!

  27. This huge piece of shit upgrade , or whatever, has had my computer down for 2 plus days…. HATE IT! Wish I wasn’t a slave to Microsoft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Edge may be faster than Chrome but Edge is not yet compatible with most Banking portals.

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