Microsoft Edge browser features, uses, advantages and disadvantages
Microsoft Edge is the default system browser on Windows 10 , It is unavailable for older operating systems , Microsoft ships the operating system with Internet Explorer as well , It is easy enough to use either one of the browsers to download Firefox , Chrome , Opera or any of the other browsers available for Windows .
Microsoft Edge gives that impression on start , It is fast , It displays only a few mandatory elements in the interface , It works well on most sites you open using it , It helps you mark up web-pages with a highlighter or drawing tool & share them as an image file in email or social apps .
Using Microsoft Edge is a perfectly pleasant experience , It’s super-quick , Its integrated reading mode makes complex sites more palatable , Edge won’t suffer the security breaches of its older brother and it is more user-friendly .
Edge is Microsoft’s new browser , It offers full integration with Windows 10 , It is the default browsing experience on Windows 10 , so , It doesn’t support the most popular operating systems today such as Windows 7 , 8 , Android and iOS , Edge will not be a major factor for most enterprises .
Individuals will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and Windows 8 , So , They’ll have the option of using Edge ( or Chrome or Firefox or Opera or even IE ) , Microsoft Edge marks the start of a new era for Microsoft & it is a step in the right direction , but maybe it was unveiled too quickly .
Microsoft Edge is replacing Internet Explorer , It comes as a default browser in Windows 10 , Internet Explorer will continue but only to ensure compatibility with older applications , Microsoft Edge will be offered across all Windows 10 devices , It is faster , more streamlined browser completely scraps some of the long-running features of IE .
Microsoft Edge advantages
Microsoft Edge comes with high speed , Speed is one of the most important aspects to consider when you’re deciding which browser should become your default choice , According to Microsoft , Microsoft Edge is the fastest browser on the market .
Microsoft Edge is an app rather than a system program , It will be the default browser for both PC & mobile versions of Windows 10 , replacing Internet Explorer 11 , As it sports its own rendering engine, it is unlikely that it will ever appear on iOS or Android devices .
Edge has a neat Reading List mode tucked away in its minimalist UI , Reading List function syncs content between the devices , To add an item , you can click the favorite icon in the toolbar & choose to add it to your reading list rather than to a bookmarks folder , Reading-list-edge has been moved front & center , you can get a similar service using apps & add-ons like Pocket for a long time .
Microsoft Edge comes with Reading Mode , It lets you strip out all the extra junk on a web-page aside from the main text such as images , ads , sidebars , So , providing you with an experience that’s more akin to reading a newspaper , Reading Mode strips out formatting to allow easier reading on the devices .
Microsoft Edge Reader mode is quite convenient , you can use an add-on to put the reader mode in some other browsers or tweak the settings a bit , All you need to do is click the Reader icon in the toolbar and the page will reload to view layout , Click it again & you go back to the original web-page .
Microsoft Edge comes with improved Security , The browsers are notoriously insecure programs , and Internet Explorer was one of the worst offenders , Microsoft has taken huge strides towards addressing these concerns .
Internet Explorer was slow to start , slow to fully load pages & frankly , just a bit on the ugly and bloated side , but Edge is pleasingly snappy , You can add notes to web-pages , Microsoft Edge becomes the first browser that natively allows you to add notes to web-pages that you are viewing .
The users can use Microsoft Edge to draw on & annotate the web pages , These annotations are stored on OneDrive & can be used with other users , This feature works across both desktop & mobile devices , with touch-enabled phones & tablets allowing the users to draw using their finger or a stylus & PC users using their mouse and keyboard .
Edge-annotate offers a host of benefits for a wide range of users , The students can annotate the pages that they need to include in project , The people who love to cook can make tweaks & amendments to the recipes & then print them or share them with friends , while the designers who need to offer feedback on the layout of the site will find the process a lot more straightforward .
This works a lot better if you have a touchscreen computer and pen , To activate the feature just click on the pen and paper icon in the top right-hand corner , Once you finished making your amendments , you can save it as a bookmark , share it via OneNote , or save it to your reading list .
Microsoft Edge comes with edge-clutter-free , lots of superfluous options have been removed completely and anything that was deemed necessary but non-essential has been hidden away in Menu > Settings > Advanced Settings .
Cortana has made giant leaps in the personal assistant space , It is a highly capable alternative to Google Now and Siri , When you’ve enabled Cortana to work in Edge from the advanced settings menu , It will offer you all kinds of benefits .
If you view a restaurant’s web-page , It will pop up and offer directions & opening times , if you’re reading an article and you’re not sure about the context of a word or phrase you can right-click it to ask Cortana for more information and if you’re looking for company reviews you’ll be provided with superb results .
Microsoft Edge is faster than Internet Explorer & Chrome , If one of the reasons you’re holding back on trying out Microsoft Edge is because of Internet Explorer’s legacy , The lack of legacy support in Edge is good thing , as that’s what allows for many of the speed changes & helps reduce the security threats .
Microsoft Edge is lightweight , The side-bar provides you with options to directly visit a website , call a business or get directions to a location , Clicking any of the options in the side-bar makes it disappear & open your new page in a new tab , Edge gets a new home button & can import favourites from another browser .
Microsoft Edge sports a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML , This replacing the Trident engine used in IE over the last couple of decades , The new browser doesn’t support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects and instead uses an extension system , much like rivals Firefox and Chrome .
Microsoft Edge integrates with the Cortana Digital Assistant to offer voice control , search and personalized info to users , The browser boasts the dark theme to bring it in line with the rest of the operating system , This is not enabled by default & needs a small change to the registry in order to enable this .
220,000 lines of code are removed from IE for Edge , formerly referred to as Project Spartan , Microsoft has got rid of over 300 interfaces , A lot of the alterations have been made to keep Microsoft Edge more in line with rival browsers such as Chrome and Firefox , rather than its outdated predecessor , Many non-interoperable APIs have been removed , some because they have replacements & the others for the compatibility issues they pose .
Microsoft Edge is a universal Windows app , It runs on PCs , phones , tablets , It maintains Spartan innovations like the page markup , reading view & Cortana integration , Microsoft Edge offers New-Tab Page , you search & see thumbnails of your most-visited sites , but let you re-open closed tabs & see site suggestions , the new-tab page shows top sites in Microsoft Edge .
Microsoft Edge disadvantages
Microsoft Edge does not have Extension Support , no extensions means no mainstream adoption , The one reason you probably won’t make Edge your default browser , You will really miss your extensions , There is lack of full control , An easy option to switch between search engines is missing as well .
Adding Search Engines is a pain , switching between them too , The only option provided right now is to use the discovery feature , This works only if the search engine supports OpenSearch , run a search & open the Edge Settings to change the default search engine to the newly discovered one.
There are not any interface customization options , There is no option to move the icons around or remove them from the browser and no advanced customization features which enables you to display the tabs in the sidebar , add a status bar to the browser UI or change colors .
Microsoft Edge does not have address bar , When you open a new Tab Page in Microsoft Edge , the address bar is removed from the browser UI & all you get is a “Where to next” field on the page which acts as a combined search field & address bar , The address bar appears if you scroll down on the new tab page , and if you do , you cannot scroll up anymore to display the in-page “where to next” field instead .
When you select Settings from the main menu at the top , you will notice that Settings are displayed as a fly-out menu in Microsoft Edge , The Settings don’t use the available browser window , When you can click on the pin icon to display the Settings permanently on the screen , that takes away space from the websites that you open in the browser .
Microsoft Edge Browser does not display the protocol that used to connect to the active site , The only indicator it gives that you are connected to a secure site (https) is the lock icon in front of the address , The secure icon must use color indicators ( green and red ) as this is how all other browsers handle these visualizations .
If you manage a lot of favorites , or need to browse the history , you will notice that Microsoft Edge displays these in a fly-out menu as well , The display lists a handful of links only before you need to start scrolling , There is no option to sort the favorites quickly .
Although you can right-click on any tab open in the browser to reopen closed tabs , There is no option to quickly go through a list of closed tabs to open the one you are looking for or to display all sites that were loaded .
If you select text in Microsoft Edge and right-click , you get an option to search using Bing search engine , This option is hard-coded in the browser & does not change even if you change the default search engine of Microsoft Edge , Microsoft Edge Browser does not support user profiles , So , you are stuck with a single profile for all activity .
Microsoft Edge was storing the private data when browsing in InPrivate Mode , So , it turned out that InPrivate Mode wasn’t so private after all , Cortana is another feature of concern , not just for Edge but for Windows 10 as a whole , The silver lining is that Edge’s Cortana doesn’t have always-on listening… yet .
Many of the security holes in IE still exist in Microsoft Edge , Edge introduced a few holes of its own , such as the recent PDF exploit , It gets infected & loses core system files , you can only restore those missing files by using a Windows 10 image ( which is a huge inconvenience ) .
The other missing enhancements include , There is no history of recently closed tabs , no tab groups , poor handling of dragged tabs , no tab audio muting & no ability to switch between multiple user profiles , The browser suffers from the occasional pages that won’t load & the pages that randomly crash , Microsoft Edge comes with lagging standards & performance .