Microsoft Edge:Browser race just got interesting

Microsoft released Internet Explorer in 1995. All of us have used IE for some or the other reason and we are united in hating the browser. While Google Chrome and Firefox have consistently upgraded their features, it has taken 20 years for Microsoft to come up with another browser.

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We are talking about Edge and going by the initial impressions, Microsoft has got a winner in its hands.

Code named Project Spartan, Microsoft has been working on the browser since the beginning of 2014.

The browser will no longer support legacy technologies like ActiveX, something that has been part of IE since its inception.

The distinguishing feature of Edge is its integration with OneDrive, Bing and Cortana.

Features

1.Search from the address bar

Finally! The browser now has a deeper integration with Bing providing weather updates on the spot

Microsoft-Edge

2.Hub

Edge now has your private room called Hub where you can save links, articles etc. It also shows the browsing history, downloads etc.

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3.Quick Notes

Do you have to jot down something while you’re reading? Edge makes it possible. With write on web, you can sketch, highlight on the go.

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4.Offline Viewing

Traveling? No problem, Edge supports offline viewing. Just tap on ‘Add to Reading List’ and you’re done.

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5.Distraction free reading

Annoyed with ads and pop ups? Edge has a pretty useful Reading View option. This will bring all the content to the center making it easier for you to read.

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Comparison with other browsers

Looks like Edge has taken a leaf out of Chrome’s pocket. There is no file menu and all the tabs appear on the top.

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The URL bar is invisible unless the user clicks on it.

There is also a dark theme available.

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Safari Browser uses WebKit as its layout engine. Chrome was using WebKit but later switched to Blink , forked from WebKit. Opera uses the same layout engine. Firefox, on the other hand uses Gecko. Edge will use a layout engine called EdgeHTML, derived from Trident(layout engine in IE).

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The performance is usually based on the ECMA Script Engine for rendering JavaScript. This boosts the ‘feel’ of a webpage. Safari uses Nitro, Chrome uses V8, Firefox uses SpiderMonkey and IE uses Chakra. This is the reason that there is a difference in performance between Safari and Chrome even though they use the same layout engine,

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Improvements

If insider reports are to be believed, scrolling through webpages in Edge is a breeze. Edge wins hands down as far as compatibility between devices is concerned. Chrome, Firefox and Opera come no where near. Edge was able to play 1080p and 4K videos without major lag. Edge has been reviewed to be a battery saving app when compared to Chrome


The search through URL bar looks better when compared to other browsers. You get answers without having to open another page. Cortana integration is something that will distinguish the browser from its competitors. Built on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform, the browser renders pages more uniformly across different devices


For the web developers out there, here is some good news. Edge now supports 3D rendering in CSS3

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Microsoft revealed that third-party JavaScript extensions will be supported by Edge. Apart from this, Chrome and Firefox extensions will be compatible with Edge.

Drawbacks

From the initial tests, Edge is RAM hungry when compared to other browsers. This was the problem with IE also. Not only RAM, Edge’s CPU usage is relatively high.

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Conclusion

Microsoft has taken a big leap forward with Edge. This browser could be the next big thing. Minimalistic design, faster load times, integration with Microsoft services especially Cortana will be highly appreciated by the users.

-Bhargav

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