There’s been a lot of talk about Windows 10 in the tech press. Most of the reviews concentrated on compatibility with legacy software and older hardware that made the change from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 difficult. Our home computer service techs have been helping our customers change over to the new operating system, and the vast majority of upgrades had no problems at all. That’s made Windows 10 a hit.
What about the new browser that comes with the new operating system? Microsoft Edge has replaced Internet Explorer, but few observers have been analyzing exactly how it’s different. We think that Edge has a lot of things going for it that should make it your go-to browser. Keep reading to find out why it probably won’t be.
Why Microsoft Edge Should Be Your Go-To Browser
It’s More Secure
Most software suffers from bloat over time. That’s because developers offer patches to fix known vulnerabilities, and to accommodate changes in hardware and software. Edge isn’t a new version of Internet Explorer. It replaces it. It doesn’t have legacy support for old versions of IE, so it doesn’t drag along any old vulnerabilities, either. A great many home computer service calls are to perform adware removal or to get rid of unwanted toolbars users have picked up while browsing. Edge will put a stop to a lot of those problems for the average user.
Microsoft Edge works great with Windows 10, but it’s not part of it. If your browsing habits lead to a malware problem, it doesn’t automatically have root access to the operating system. That will make it much easier for you to troubleshoot and repair a problem, or for a home computer service to do it for you.
Browsers have a tendency to suffer from mission creep. The developers keep adding things to keep users interested in their product. After a while, your toolbar begins to look like NASA built it. Edge is completely stripped down. That means it’s less intimidating for casual users to operate. It has improved a lot of its functionality, but most of its best features happen in the background. To borrow a term, it just works.
Reader Mode Is Nifty
Many websites haven’t caught on that users are tired of cluttered screens. Edge has a Reader Mode that changes the appearance of a website to an easy-to-read magazine-style page. It doesn’t work on everything, but when it does work, it works wonderfully. You’ll love reader mode if you’ve ever wanted to read the details on a YouTube video without seeing the first ten foul-mouthed comments.
A Built-In Reading List
Heavy computer users abuse their bookmarks. If you like to save items for future reading with bookmarks, they soon get mixed in with important bookmarks that you don’t want to erase when you’re done reading them. Edge gives you the choice of shunting a website to either Favorites (bookmarks) or a Reading List. If you get way behind, you can simply erase the Reading List and start over. You can’t do that if everything is mixed up in your bookmarks.
You Can Scribble On Things
You’ll love the way Edge lets you annotate web pages before you send them if you like to share things you find on the Internet. You can use a highlighter to stress certain text, put a text box message on it, or simply scribble a note over the screen capture. When you’re through, you can share your work instantly via email or other social apps, or save it to your favorites or reading list.
Why You’ll Wait
Uh-oh. Dealbreaker alert. Edge doesn’t support any extensions yet. If you depend on a password manager, adblock, or any of the other customizations available for your browser, you’ll probably give Edge a pass as your default browser until Microsoft updates the browser for extensions.
Why You’ll Stop Waiting
Eventually, Microsoft Edge will eventually be able to use extensions, perhaps in as little as a few months. That would be great, but there’s even better news. Edge is designed to offer locked down security and performance while you’re browsing, but it’s also configured for maximum compatibility. Edge will be able to use any extension that works with any browser. That will make changing over to Edge as your primary browser a no-brainer. As a result, Edge’s ability to avoid malware will save you money on home computer service. The ability to use any extension you want will make it the “one browser to rule them all.”