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Internet Explorer’s Replacement: Microsoft Edge

May 12, 2015
Microsoft Edge Author: and

Internet Explorer is arguably the most well know browser amongst its competition (for better or for worse) and is still widely used despite its flaws and speed issues. The notorious browser will be retiring in the next version of Windows. Windows 10 will have a new default browser named “Microsoft Edge”, previously called “Project Spartan”.

Why Is Microsoft Discontinuing Internet Explorer?

RIP Internet Explorer

Over the years, many flaws and difficulties surfaced with Internet Explorer. One main problem is that it is unable to load HTML5 website content and sites often look broken. Since Internet Explorer’s name has lost credibility over the years due to those problems, starting from scratch with a new name is a smart move on Microsoft’s part.

What is Microsoft Edge?

The default browser in the next installment of Windows will be the brand new Microsoft Edge. Edge is built to provide the user with a “better web experience” that is “made for easy sharing, reading, researching and getting things done.”

Microsoft Edge Features

Some of Edge’s features include:

Reading Mode – removes all of the annoying aspects of trying to read an article. This prevents giant banner ads pushing text around, prevents videos and ads from making noise which is sometimes buried within the page somewhere and difficult to find. This feature is similar to the “Reader View” found in Safari. 

Website Annotation – allows you to save and store screenshots of web pages so you can write notes on them.

Microsoft Edge Annotations

Reading Lists – lets you save articles. Other browsers (such as Chrome and Firefox) have this feature available through extensions, but it comes built into Edge like Safari.

Cortana – Window’s version of Apple’s Siri is built into the new browser. Cortana will provide you with quick information such as definition, maps, or will do searches for what you ask. There is no need to leave a page or a tab to utilize Cortana.

Information in the Search Bar – information on whatever you search for in the address bar will be included in the drop down suggested results. There is no need to go to a website to get the information you need.

Microsoft Edge Search Bar

When Will We See Edge?

It has been projected that Window’s 10 will be released later this year after July, and Microsoft Edge along with it.

The light version of Edge is currently available on the beta of Window’s 10.

Trident? WebKit-based? Gecko-based? Edge-based?

So you may be wondering just how different Microsoft Edge is from Internet Explorer.

While Internet Explorer was built on Microsoft’s Trident engine, Microsoft Edge will be built on EdgeHTML. EdgeHTML is a fork of the old Trident engine but with several legacy codes of older versions of Internet Explorer rewritten with modern browsers in mind.

While its source code is being renamed “EdgeHTML” instead of “Trident”, we hope that it will truly be an improvement rather than a case of “repackaging”.

It will not be WebKit-based (e.g. Google Chrome, Safari, Opera) or Gecko-based (e.g. Firefox). It appears that Microsoft will still be sticking to their own proprietary engine instead of using an open source one.

Will Microsoft Edge be any Good?

So far, Microsoft Edge looks promising. Despite its source code still being based off of the old Internet Explorer trident engine, it has been largely rewritten. Though it is pretty barebones at the moment, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of the common problems found in Internet Explorer so there is hope. Only time will tell if Microsoft’s new browser will be able to become a true viable alternative to popular browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Would you try Microsoft Edge?

What is your opinion? Do you think that Microsoft will be redeeming themselves with their new browser? Does it still seem too similar to the old Internet Explorer? Will you stick to using other browsers? Let us know in the comments below!

Fun fact

The reasoning behind the names “Cortana” and “Project Spartan” is because of the video game franchise “Halo” which Microsoft owns. Cortana is an Artificial Intelligence that aids the character throughout most of the games. Players take on the role of the Master Chief who is in a group of specialized, elite soldiers called “Spartans.”