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Microsoft Edge: The Inevitable Change Happened

Sailesh Subramanian is a Senior Web / Hybrid app engineer at Tata Consultancy Services Limited.

Photo by Tadas Sar on Unsplash

Photo by Tadas Sar on Unsplash

The New Microsoft Edge

Being a web developer, I have hated Internet Explorer for many reasons. If you are a developer you would also have enough reasons. It lacked the support for advanced features available in web development. Microsoft's domination in the web browser war was short-lived with the launch of Firefox by Mozilla and Safari by Apple. With the launch of Google Chrome, internet explorer lost its popularity in the web development world.

Later Microsoft rolled out the "Microsoft Edge" browser with some development-friendly environment. Now I must say Microsoft has taken a bigger step by revamping their Edge browser based on chromium project.

The "Edge" History

The Microsoft Edge web browser was released for Windows 10 in 2015 and for android in 2017. The launch versions of the Edge browser was developed with Microsoft's own EdgeHTML and Chakra engine. This version was complete revamp compared to the then existing Microsoft's own Internet Explorer version 11. The Edge browser was launched alongside with IE11, not as a replacement. The seamless best in class features support and performance were still miles away, at-least it felt for me.

The Chromium Project

Chromium is the open-source project from Google. Many browsers use chromium projects for their development, Google Chrome, Opera to name a few. Microsoft later decided to go for chromium for its Microsoft Edge browser with the Blink engine. The result is an amazing web browser that is highly user friendly.

The User Friendly "EDGE"

As I said earlier, the chromium project adoption for the Microsoft Edge led to a complete revamp. Under the hood, it may seem both Edge and Chrome to be similar and it is correct to a certain extend. Microsoft moved Edge browser core to chromium to extend support for the advanced features and happenings in the web development world. In my experience with the browser, it was blazing fast and never faced any hiccups. The new version of Edge is available for Android and well as iOS.

The new Edge browser comes with Privacy promised. Edge Browser has a track prevention mechanism built with it which seems to be a pretty cool feature. You can see this by going to Settings -> Privacy and Services. There are three modes where you can choose from Basic, Balanced, or Strict. Features corresponding to each category are listed under each setting. The Edge Browser also shows you the list of the sites it blocked from tracking you if the necessary tracking settings are on.

Microsoft Edge provides a new online experience with a customized layout. Users can select a layout/design and customize the news they want.

In most cases, Microsoft removed the Google services embedded with and replaced with Microsoft services which are obvious. The Edge browser syncs your browser data with Microsoft account rather than google Account. With the Edge browser, you now get an extensions store from Microsoft. You can also add extensions from the chrome web store, but with a security warning from Microsoft," Third-party store apps are not verified".


Developer Friendly

For all the web developers out there you will love this experience. You will feel like you are working on Google Chrome but with security benefits. The new EDGE was launched with the version number as 80 to have similar versions for Chrome and EDGE. Built with chromium means, Now the EDGE provides support for most of the advanced web development features, service workers, CSS variables to name a few. With blazing performance debugging is never a headache. Developers can now deliver enhanced experiences to the user community out there. The shift in adopting better technologies for web experiences was hindered due to a lack of support in Internet Explorer 11.

There still exists a large number of enterprise users and normal users who are yet to switch from IE 11 because of the security aspects. With the new initiative from Microsoft, the change is inevitable.

The developer community is all praise for the launch of the new version of the Microsoft Edge web browser. With this launch, Microsoft anticipates taking back its autonomy by capturing the market in the browser segment. Those who are interested can download the new Edge from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge.

© 2020 Sailesh Subramanian