Microsoft Edge is the latest web browser developed by Microsoft Inc. and launched with Windows 10, replacing the traditional Microsoft default web browser for Windows OS devices, Internet Explorer. The logo and branding of Microsoft Edge Browser were created similar to that of Internet Explorer to maintain its legacy. The codename of the project for developing Microsoft Edge was called “Spartan”.
It is a lightweight web browser with a layout engine developed around web standards. Though edge is not listed in Windows 10 Enterprise long-term servicing branch(LSTB) build, it can be used in windows 10, windows 10 mobile, and Xbox one console which replaced internet explorer 11 and internet explorer mobile. Internet Explorer 11 is also compatible with windows 10 along with Microsoft edge, but it is somehow similar internet explorer used in windows 8.1. But internet explorer used in windows 8.1 doesn’t use the edge engine which was previously announced. Adobe Flash Player is only the plug-in that is supported by Microsoft Edge, it also supports the pdf plugin. It comes up with tons of new features and tools not supported by Internet Explorer like a reading mode, annotation tools, and integration with Cortana directly from a web browser.
Microsoft Edge is available on android and iOS devices. Some legacy technology such as ActiveX and Browser Helper objects is not supported by Microsoft edge but it uses an extension system. Microsoft Edge Extension and other features like Windows Hello were added with the release of the Windows 10-anniversary update on August 2, 2016. Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Windows 10 PC, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 10 Mobile.
Despite Edge replacing Internet Explorer as the default web browser in Windows 10, Internet Explorer 11 will still be available side by side with Microsoft Edge for compatibility. The legendary Trident (MSHTML) of Internet Explorer which was rumored to be still compatible with Edge browser is replaced by EdgeHTML (Written in C++). New features and tools are expected to be released in near future to match up the legacy of Chrome and Firefox browsers. Another advantage of Spartan over Internet Explorer is that Edge is a universal app that is updateable through the Windows 10 store and has no deep connection with updates of OS.
Development of Microsoft Edge as a Complete Web Browser
- In 2014, Microsoft announced a development project of a new web browser for Windows 10 OS codenamed “Spartan”.
- In 2015, on March 30, With Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10049, Microsoft made Spartan available publicly for the first time.
- On April 29, 2015, Spartan was officially named Microsoft Edge and would replace Internet Explorer as the default Windows Web Browser in Windows 10.
- A mobile version of Microsoft Edge Browser was released for Windows 10 Mobile on July 25 of the same year.
- On July 25 Microsoft officially released Windows 10 with Microsoft Edge being the default web browser.
- Microsoft Edge’s anniversary update was released as part of the Windows 10-anniversary update on August 2, 2016.
What’s New for Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 Anniversary Update:
Microsoft Edge browser for Windows 10 is packed with tons of exciting new features and changes in the Windows 10-anniversary update. Windows 10 anniversary update comes up with the more usable and secure operating system. If you have chosen to have Windows 10 anniversary update, you might have experienced some changes in Start Menu, Setting Apps, Taskbar, Quick Access, Notification, and many other small and important changes.
In addition to all these changes, Microsoft has come up with a vastly improvised version of Windows 10 default web browser Microsoft Edge. In this new update, Microsoft has focused on making the browser more power-efficient in portable devices such as laptops, mobiles, tablets, and surface devices. You will experience many small and important tweaks in a new update that makes your browsing experience faster, secure, and compatible on PC, mobile devices, and Xbox One.
Now let us go through some of the major features of the Microsoft Edge anniversary update and changes you will experience while browsing with the Edge after installing Windows 10 anniversary update.
Microsoft Edge Extensions
Microsoft Edge finally includes support for Extensions starting with Windows 10 anniversary update, similar to Chrome and Firefox. The extension is usually the small programs that are plugged into the web browser to increase its functionality and developed to do one task. You can get all the new Edge extensions from the Windows 10 store. For a quick view of all the available extensions, Click on Edge Menu “…” > Extensions > Get extensions from the store.
Some latest extensions for Microsoft Edge are:
- Translator For Microsoft Edge
- Amazon Assistant
- Office Online
- Reddit Enhancement Suite
- Save to Pocket
- OneNote Web Clipper
- Page Analyzer
- Evernote Web Clipper
- LastPass: Free Password Manager
- Mouse Gestures
- Adblock Plus
- Pin It Button
Once you installed one of these extensions from the Windows 10 store you will be shown a notification in Microsoft Edge to turn the installed extensions On or Off. Extensions are available only for the PC version of Windows 10 to date.
Microsoft Edge Power Efficiency
As part of its mission to make Microsoft Edge the first-choice web browser in Windows 10 portable devices such as Laptops, Tablets, Phones, Surface Pro, etc., Microsoft has added power-saving improvements in Windows 10 anniversary update. The newly updated version consumes very little memory by preventing unnecessary background processes. Flash advertisements that are not part of the main web page content are not played until the user wishes to play it by clicking on it. According to Microsoft’s own Experiment, the Edge browser is the efficient browser among Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Microsoft Edge Accessibility Improvements
In order to make web browsers more usable to users with disabilities, Microsoft has highly improvised support for modern Web standards, such as CSS3, HTML5, and ARIA. When you view webpage post update you will find some of these changes while using the browser in high contrast mode, you will experience highly improvised visual context. Filling out the form of the keyboard for the disabled user is easier due to the addition of a screen reader that will speak out the character loud as it is pressed on the keyboard.
New Microsoft Edge Settings
Another easily noticeable change in the Microsoft Edge anniversary update is improvised Settings that includes new options and tweaks. Two new options are added in the Settings menu, which includes Extensions which we already discussed above and another is What’s new and tip, which links users to Microsoft Support Page that highlights the users about the new features and best tips for using Microsoft Edge Browser. The settings menu now features a drop-down menu that includes all the options as the previous outlook. You can access the Settings menu in Microsoft Edge Browser by clicking the “. . .” button just below the close (X) button.
New Change on “about:flags”
There is some good sign for developers in the new version of the Microsoft Edge browser. Microsoft has added some important changes in the Developer Setting page, also popularly known to the user as about:flag. Advanced users Edge browser. In the new version, the browser no longer shows the context menu “View Source” and “Inspect Element”, instead of it now developers must go to about:flag and check these options.
Other few small but important changes/improvements and tweaks in a new version of Microsoft Edge
- On touch-enabled Windows, 10 devices such as phones, tablets, surface pro, etc. users are now able to navigate between the pages by just swiping back or forward with your finger instead of looking for the small back and forward icon.
- Copy/Paste features in the new version of Edge browser are highly improvised. Now you can copy the URL and right-click on the address bar and select Paste and Go directly instead of first pasting the URL and later hitting Enter.
- Now you have got the ability to directly upload folders to different cloud services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. by dragging and dropping.
- You can easily import bookmarks from another browser such as Firefox and Chrome and favorites imported from other browsers are saved in separate folders, instead of keeping in the same folder combined.
- Already old features for Chrome and Firefox users but Microsoft Edge has introduced Pin Tabs features only in the latest version of the browser.
- Now Edge browser will remind you about the files that are downloading before closing the browser and prevent you from losing that content.
- Microsoft Edge’s anniversary update has introduced biometric authentication popularly known to Windows 10 users as Windows Hello. Previously, it was only limited to unlocking the computer but now you can enable Windows Hello in your Edge Browser and authenticate your different secured account with fingerprint or facial recognition rather than a traditional password or pin.
Microsoft Edge Compatibility Mode
Microsoft Edge browser doesn’t support VBScript, ActiveX control, and many other legacy technologies which used to be in Internet Explorer. Some of the websites and apps still use these technologies and while you browse those websites and apps using the browser you may face compatibility problems. To solve this issue you can take help from Enterprise Mode of Microsoft Edge Browser which will automatically open that web page or site with Internet Explorer 11. To use this function just follow the given steps:
- At first download Enterprise Mode Site List Manager from the official site of Microsoft.
- After the completion of the download, install it as per instructions given throughout the installation process.
- Now add incompatible sites to your list:
- In the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager window, click Add.
Type or paste the URL of the website that is facing a compatibility problem.
- Click on Open In IE next to the URL that you want to automatically open with Internet Explorer 11.
- Click Save to validate and add the desired website to the site list for your enterprise.
- Now go to the File menu and go to the place where you want to save it and click on Save to XML.
- In the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager window, click Add.
- Set up your Microsoft Edge browser to use the Enterprise Mode Site List:
- Search for Edit group policy from Taskbar Search box and open it.
- Got to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge.
- Double Click on Allows you to configure the Enterprise Mode Site List.
- Now Select Enable to radio button and in the Options area type the location to your URL site list.
- Click OK or Apply.
How can you get Microsoft Edge on your PC, Laptops, Phones, or Tablets?
Microsoft Edge is the Built-In web browser software for all Windows 10 devices. So, if you have Windows 10 running on your devices you should have it on your devices. If you still didn’t find Microsoft edge on your computer you can download it primarily from the Microsoft Official website. Microsoft Edge for Android and Microsoft Edge for Mac or IOS is not available till now though you can use VirtualBox from Oracle to use Microsoft Edge browser in Mac laptops and PC.
Commonly Reported Microsoft Edge Bug/Error and Problems
Before carrying out any of the potential solutions for the following issue, you are recommended to scan for any system file error using Windows Command Prompt. Press Windows+X and choose Command Prompt(Admin) to open Windows Command Prompt. Type SFC / scannow and press enter to see any error if it exists.
1. Trouble in loading and running slowly
- Go to “. . .” icon > Choose Setting option > Click on Choose what to clear
- Tick mark on browser data you want to clear and click on Clear.
2. Text in Edge is too small to read
- Press Ctrl + or Ctrl – to zoom in or Zoom out the existing web page.
- Also, you got to “. . .” button and open the Setting option to change the view size.
3. Heavy popup adds during browsing
- Download Microsoft Edge Adblock extension from Windows 10 Store.
- After the download completes install it and enable this extension in the Microsoft Edge browser from the Extensions option in the Setting menu.