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Why You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge

With the release of a new OS, Windows 10, comes the release of a new browser, Microsoft Edge.

With an appearance that is easy on the eyes and a feel of ease in the use, there are several legitimate reasons you should check out Edge before you get back to Chrome or Firefox. That being said, there is also one reason you might not want to use it.

Speed increase compared to IE and Chrome

Refraining from using Edge based on the legacy set forth by Internet Explorer is the same as refusing to dine in a restaurant because the store that occupied its location before gave you a bad service. Of course, IE was slow, took too long to load the home screen, and was far from easy on the eyes. However, Edge provides for a pleasant experience with a great layout.

Tested with Futuremark Peacekeeper, Edge scored 1248 points whereas Chrome only scored 447. While Chrome did pass 7 out of 7 HTML5 tests, Edge did fail two. Still proving better than IE11, Microsoft can count this as a success as they play catch-up with their HTML5 feature support.

While Internet Explorer’s tests have shown scores of 929 and failed two of the seven HTML5 tests, the legacy they left for Edge to grow is actually not such a bad start. Proving to be twice as quick in comparison to Chrome in the JavaScript SunSpider Benchmark tests, they used the bad reviews to target improvement points with Edge.

Dropping support for ActiveX, BHOS, and VBScript, they now allow for third-party extensions to grant support and ad blocking with HTML5 and JavaScript. Though IE came with some ‘pre-loaded’ builds, they were aimed primarily at businesses. With that being stated, speed in numbers isn’t the only important thing here.

Convenient Reader

Though not the first to use an easy reader function, Edge does present an out-of-the-box method that boosts convenience and provides a pleasant reading experience. Once the Reader icon is clicked, the app reloads the page with an easy to view layout. Clicking it once more resets the page to the original layout. For the heavy readers, this is an addition that is worth utilizing for online articles and books.

Reader mode

Handy Reading List

Using a third-party service like Pocket is helpful in keeping your future reading list organized. However, Edge has a nifty Reading List built into its UI. Adding items is as easy as bookmarking them, and the process is the same as well. You are given the option to bookmark the item or tuck it into your reading list.

Though introduced in Windows 8, both of the Reading List functions have been given more attention to make them more accessible and usable. Reading List is a nice feature to have for those who use their bookmarks to save something they only want to read once without collecting dust and adding clutter to the bookmarks list.

Browsing for dummies

No one is calling names here, the Edge browser was just designed to lessen the confusion due to clutter. Everything is still there, most of the more confusing aspects of browsing have just been hidden away in options panes to provide an easy browsing experience. The settings are accessible to the right hand side of the screen. Just hold the key to changing any options you feel you need to change to personalize your experience. Even so, it is still simple with toggle choices (on/off switches) and options of changing background color while in Reader Mode.

You will have to dig into the advanced settings to enable Cortana or set a different homepage. For controlling users, it may become a drawback due to a lack of options, but Edge is trying to introduce simplicity into their functionality right now.

settings pic

Secure as a safe

Though security isn’t the most attractive reason for choosing a browser, Microsoft didn’t hold back from making important changes to their security system, improving the safety of those who use Edge. With Internet Explorer’s reputation of being a zest pool of malware, hackers, viruses, and scareware, to prevent this from being a repeated incident, Edge has sandboxed itself from the rest of the OS. This means that if someone was to get into your browser, they wouldn’t be able to get into your system from that point.

Cortana’s help

To fully utilize Cortana, you do have to dig around in Advanced Settings just a bit to make sure it is enabled. However, once Cortana is active, it will look up words or phrases when they are highlighted, while providing you with relevant information contextually.

Though in Windows 10 voice control is the main function of Cortana, in Edge you just right-click and select ‘Ask Cortana.’ You can get a range of results based on what you ask without even leaving the story you are reading or researching. With a sidebar that gives you several different options for different results, you can call the sought business, view websites, get directions, find out working hours and also gain access to the Yelp reviews as well.

edge cortana

Easy page shares and annotations

This is a questionably useful feature though handy in some scenarios, it could just be added hype. Regardless, this function allows the user to easily highlight certain parts of a web page, suggest changes, and share it. Being able to save it locally is useful as well. You can also save it to favorites or send to your reading list or OneNote.

Though this feature is far from perfect, it does allow you to easily leave feedback for websites you visit, personalize recipes found online, and save your own version of any page. For students, it allows for perfection when annotating web clippings for research. This feature is better utilized for machines that use Windows 10 with the option of using the touchscreen with stylus.

This feature reminds us of Evernote Clearly extension.

The only bad side

Yes, there is one. You will miss extensions for a while. Though the access to extensions will come into existence for Edge, it will not be till some time this year. This just means that if you had become reliant on the use of extensions like Bitly or a password manager, then you might struggle until third-party add-ons become accessible.

For the casual internet user, this might not seem like a problem at all, but again, more tech-savvy users might find this a bit annoying. The upside to this downside is that the lack of third-party extensions does help keep the Edge browser fast.

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