The web browser is, without a doubt, the most important application on a PC and the most used. You may not even like the default browser for your favorite OS, but it will at least serve to download the option you usually use and continue with the download of the other software you need.
Microsoft Edge is the default browser for Windows 10, released with the system on July 29, 2015, and until the beginning of 2020 it used the EdgeHTML rendering engine. On December 6, 2018, Microsoft announced that it had plans to switch to using the Blink engine, based on Chromium, the open source software project that serves as the development base for Chrome, Google’s browser.
In August 2019, Microsoft released the first Beta version of the Chromium-based Edge, and on January 15, 2020 released the final version of the new Edge.
In March 2016, Edge started to support extensions, but the feature was not exciting, since the number of possibilities was extremely low. In September 2017, during a presentation in which Microsoft demonstrated some features of its cloud platform, the browser crashed live, forcing the presenter to download and install Chrome in order to proceed.
The new Edge, based on Chromium, resurfaces with the proposal to conquer the land that was once occupied by the legendary (and terrible) Internet Explorer, the former king of the internet.
The new Edge features
The Edge was rebuilt to take advantage of the best in the Blink engine, in addition to offering differentials that definitely make it a very high-level browser. Although I don’t consider it an essential feature, the browser’s homepage optimizes navigation, featuring customizable layouts with the most visited sites, as well as integration with Office 365 or a news system.
This does not drastically change the experience when browsing, but, for those who like personalization (my case), this functionality is important, because it is as if the browser had “my face”. I can also easily configure the Edge privacy system, being able to choose between three basic levels, as well as having access to extra, more advanced settings. Defender SmartScreen acts as a barrier against phishing attacks and malware downloads, and that makes browsing easier.
With Collections, it is possible to save a page, image or part of the text to access later, without having to keep several tabs open consuming RAM. You can create a Collection for each subject of interest and with a different name, such as:
- Mouses – With mouse models that I am interested in buying;
- Recipes – With recipes that have been suggested to me;
- Tours – With the next bars I intend to visit.
Because it is based on Chromium, the new Edge supports all Chrome extensions, in addition to having very similar performance. It also accepts Netflix content in 4K and Dolby Audio and Dolby Vision standards.
There is also an advanced reading mode, which disables unnecessary elements on a page, favoring reading, and the synchronization feature, which uses the Microsoft account to save bookmarks and settings and allows the browser to be ready for use as soon as an installation is finished. clean Windows 10.
Currently, there are many good browsers on the market, including others based on Chromium, which therefore resemble Edge. However, only the Microsoft browser can bring all of these resources together in just one application:
- based on a constantly updated open source project;
- uses the same engine as the most popular browser;
- compatible with Chrome extensions;
- exclusive features of Microsoft’s closed platform (enhanced security, integration with Office 365, synchronization integrated with the system, already installed by default, has versions for Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, macOS, iOS and Android, synchronization between platforms, light and dark theme integrated with Windows 10 theme);
- homepage with a modern and configurable look;
- navigation bar to use Google search;
- configurable advanced reading mode, with reading aloud, line highlighting and grammatical preferences.
Not everything is perfect…
Despite being full of features, Edge still lacks a video system in pop-up windows, an advanced screen capture tool and a native plugin for downloading audio and videos. It would be nice, too, if you could use Google search on the homepage.
I hope that Microsoft will introduce these tools into the browser as soon as possible.
The new Edge uses the same rendering engine as Chrome, which makes the operation of the two browsers very similar. Even so, features like Collections, advanced reading mode, dark theme integrated with Windows 10 and synchronization with the Microsoft account made me consider Edge superior to its main competitor.
It was an old dream to be able to finalize a Windows 10 format and immediately start using my favorite browser, with my favorite links, logins, passwords and settings. And only Edge can provide that, as it is perfectly integrated with the OS.