The rise and fall of Microsoft browsers continue. At first, Internet Explorer was the most used browser on the Internet but then Firefox and Chrome changed the browser usage landscape. Microsoft discontinued Internet Explorer because of its incompatibility with the WWW standard and losing popularity. Microsoft Edge was born and came built-in with Windows 10.
Although it had some good features, Edge turned out to be a failure because people were more used to using Google Chrome. Microsoft has changed its strategy again and has been working on a Chromium-based browser. The name has not been changed. It’s still called Microsoft Edge. At the time of this writing, it’s still in very early stages of development but users can install and use it alongside other browsers.
This can be a good strategy from Microsoft as Microsoft has got the most used Operating System, Windows 10, and if it builds a good Chromium-based browser which comes built-in to the Operating System, people will no longer be tempted to download and use Google Chrome.
Features of Microsoft Edge
As expected, Microsoft has turned off almost all the services which Google provides in Chrome like synchronization with Google Cloud, Chrome cleanup, Google Now, Chrome OS features. For essentials like synchronization of data to the cloud, Microsoft has replaced the functionality with its own OneDrive synchronization. That means you will be able to login to your Microsoft account and sync your settings and data to be used for backup and synchronization across multiple devices.
When I installed the dev edition of Edge, it automatically imported the settings from Google Chrome. It may not be a very good thing if anyone doesn’t want an auto-import feature.
Some features of the new Edge browser include the following:
- Accessibility improvements like support for Narrator, high contrast and caret browsing
- Reading view (Chrome 75 will come with this feature)
- Grammar Tools (Microsoft replaced Google’s grammar tools with its own)
- Translation (Microsoft replaced Google Translate with Bing Translate)
- AAD Sign-in (Sign in with your Microsoft ID (Outlook.com, Hotmail or even Work/school account)
- Chrome Cleanup has been replaced with Windows Defender SmartScreen filter
The data sync feature is not still very mature and will not synchronize/backup all browsing data. It will only sync Favorites at the moment.
The first look of the browser was sleek and fast. It definitely seems to have a faster loading time than Google Chrome. Let’s hope Microsoft gets it right this time.
Download Microsoft Edge
At the time of this writing, Microsoft has only released the dev and canary versions of Microsoft Edge while the beta version will be released very soon. You can run the dev release along with other browsers including the built-in Edge browser in Windows 10. So you just have to download and install the browser without worrying about the current setup.
Here are the latest versions of Edge:
- The latest version of Microsoft Edge Beta = 220.127.116.11
- The Latest version of Microsoft Edge Dev = 18.104.22.168
- The latest version of Microsoft Edge Canary = 22.214.171.124
You can download Edge from here.
This will download the web installer stub which will then download and install the actual browser. If you want to download the offline installer of Edge, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to this page
- Select Channel (Beta, Dev, Canary)
- Select Build
- Press the Get button
This will download Edge offline installer.
Although Microsoft plans to make Edge available for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, right now, it is only available for Windows 10 64-bit edition.
What are your thoughts of the latest Microsoft Edge browser?
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