Microsoft's new browser aims to usher in new era of web browsing
New operating system, new browser: with Windows 10, we have also seen the introduction of Microsoft Edge (formerly know as Project Spartan), which will eventually serve as a replacement for Internet Explorer (although both are currently available). Please note that Microsoft Edge is currently only available inside the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Streamlined browsing experience
The idea of Microsoft Edge is to be as fast, clean, and lightweight as possible to cope with the demands of different devices, whether it be a PC, tablet or phone. Microsoft has certainly simplified and streamlined the browsing experience in Microsoft Edge. While the new browser may include more features, it sports a minimalist look, even more so than Chrome.The headline features that Microsoft Edge introduces includes a reading mode, which is a stripped back version of a web page. The Reading List (first seen as a Windows 8 feature) allows you to save articles in this format to return to later. Another notable introduction is the ability to annotate your webpage with notes and highlight different areas, whether you are using a mouse, stylus or your finger. These notes can then be shared via OneNote.Microsoft Edge also integrates Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana, which provides a more complete browsing experience by taking into account all the information you have already provided it when it displays results. While Microsoft Edge may boast a new rendering engine (this basically turns a web page's code into the display that we see on screen) designed to speed up browsing, this is difficult to judge as we installed Windows 10 on a virtual machine. The browsing experience wasn't any faster in this test, however Microsoft Edge does consume less memory.
A new browsing era
Microsoft Edge is still a work in progress, but first impressions are certainly positive. Microsoft has managed to significantly improve the browsing experience while adding some interesting new features. Ultimately, browsing speed is a touch hit and miss at the moment but, if Microsoft nails this improvement, it could be have another cross-platform success on its hands.