Microsoft Edge is a free internet browser on Windows 10 and 11 designed to be faster and safer than its predecessors. It features built-in learning tools like the digital ruler, e-book reader, note-taker, Cortana integration, new tab organization, reading view, tab preview feature, PDF viewing, and advanced security features.
Microsoft based Edge on Google's Chromium framework, the same software that powers most of the world's browsers, including Google Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi. Overall, Microsoft Edge is a sleek, fast, and fluid browser—whether you're browsing the web or reading PDFs.
Is Microsoft Edge a good choice?
The browser is a mix of Internet Explorer 11's design and Google Chrome's speed and features. The user interface takes elements from Internet explorer but is much more minimalist to improve usability. Edge sports a dark theme instead of IE11, which was infamous for its white UI that you could not change. Furthermore, Edge is Chromium-based, meaning you can sink it with other Chromium browsers.
Built-in learning tools
Edge has some interesting built-in productivity features that allow users to read, annotate and even take notes while browsing the internet. Microsoft has taken a page out of Apple's book and introduced learning tools like the digital ruler, e-book reader and note-taker to make it easy for users to be productive without opening additional apps or websites
Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Siri and Google Voice Search. With Microsoft Edge, users can highlight text and right-click to bring up Cortana. Cortana is also available with a keyboard shortcut that allows users to quickly search for websites or conduct their research efficiently.
New tab organization
Microsoft has revamped the tab layout in Edge with a new interface that makes it easy for users to find information faster. There are three different layouts; one features the website's logo on the left side while another layout places recently visited websites at the top of the page. The third layout displays recent websites in a tile layout on the bottom.
Tab preview feature
Similar to other browsers, Edge users can click on a tab and view it in a preview without opening the page. This allows users to quickly skip through tabs and view where they left off.
Microsoft Edge has included a reading mode in its latest browser that reformats articles to improve legibility and save data. When turned on, this mode will remove ads and unnecessary formatting, allowing users to focus on the content itself instead of distractions. This feature borrows from the simplicity of Pocket, where users can save articles to read later with ease.
With PDF viewing available in Microsoft Edge, users can view or print PDFs without downloading or opening them in an Adobe reader. Some helpful features are available, including adding notes, highlighting text and even getting definitions for difficult words.
Advanced security features
Microsoft has made it clear that they are prioritizing user privacy with their new browser, so they have added a built-in password manager to help users manage username and password information. In addition, Microsoft Edge will allow users to set up a fingerprint or PIN as well as data loss prevention by blocking downloads from unknown sources.
Compatible with Chrome Web Store extensions
Microsoft Edge is built on top of Chromium so it can support Chrome extensions. This means you can access the entire Chrome web store and install extensions like Adblocker or Evernote to make Edge perform even better.
Microsoft has added a feature called Spotlight to Microsoft Edge so users can easily find their most frequently visited websites. This is done by clicking the icon next to the "home" button and selecting one of your six favourite sites. Spotlight also displays trending news topics based on categories such as political, sports, entertainment, weather, finance and technology.
Edge also comes with some useful keyboard shortcuts so you can quickly access important features :
- Ctrl+L: access the address bar
- Ctrl+T: open a new tab
- Ctrl+Shift+P: bring up the print dialogue box
- Ctrl+Shift+B: show or hide browser bar
- F12: open developer tools
Along with a new look and feel, Microsoft Edge has some interesting features that set it apart from other browsers. However, if you're looking for an alternative browser, there are plenty of choices, including Opera, Firefox and the ever-popular Google Chrome.
Edge is an excellent choice
Microsoft's new browser is the most promising of all its competitors. It combines speed with functionality seamlessly while improving upon Chrome's extension support. The new tab organization looks cleaner than any other browser, and the minimalistic user interface also looks great.
Microsoft has given users plenty of reasons to make Edge their default browser with the built-in authentication features, productivity tools, and Cortana integration.