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Microsoft Web Browsing Leaps Forward

Microsoft have recently launched a faster, more compatible and feature-packed new version of their Microsoft Edge browser, based on technologies pioneered by Google’s Chrome.

Since the release of Windows 10, one of the rather disappointing elements of the operating system has been its internet browser, Microsoft Edge. Over the years we have known people to avoid using it, and we’ve even recommended other browsers to customers telling them to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to ensure some websites work properly.  Microsoft have clearly been listening to this feedback from the industry, so back in January 2020 they released an entirely new version of Microsoft Edge.

The new Microsoft Edge is a major update – this new version has been designed and built to be fully optimised for Windows 10, and it also runs on older versions back to Windows 7, and even macOS!  In addition, they had clearly learnt from the fact that in 2019 Edge was considered only the 5th most popular web browser even though it was built into all Windows installations as standard.  With Google Chrome leading the market in popularity, Microsoft needed to address this and not only update the software but rebuild it from the ground up to meet modern web browsing expectations. 

The Microsoft developers took on this challenge and created a browser that is specifically faster and designed to be fully compatible with all your favourite sites and extensions.  They bought in many new features which were needed to compete against other products that were available:

  • Better performance and website compatibility
  • More privacy and control – Built-in features designed to give you more control over your data and to protect your privacy online.
  • Collections – Allowing you to easily collect, organise and share content you find across the web.
  • Microsoft Defender SmartScreen – Automatically protects you online from various security issues, phishing schemes and malicious software.
  • Password Monitor – Notifies you when your stored credentials have been compromised so you can update them and keep them safe
  • InPrivate – Browsing history and searches are not linked to you or your saved device giving you control over your data.
  • Chrome Extensions – You can install any Google Chrome extension in Edge, directly from Google’s Chrome Web Store. 

How have Microsoft managed to make such a leap forward? They decided to switch to the same browser engine as used by Google Chrome, taking advantage of the latest web technologies and integrating them into Windows. We’ve noticed the new Edge is certainly very similar to that of Chrome, if anything, in our tests we’ve seen Edge even outperform Chrome! 

For those legacy sites that just don’t like the new modern browsers, Microsoft have retained a legacy Internet Explorer (IE) mode which many will remember fondly from before Windows 10.  This can all be done within the same browser as well, so users no longer need to use two separate browsers when having to use old websites that are dependent on old versions of IE. 

The reason for making people aware of this? Well it’s coming to everyone in the not too distant future, via Windows Update. Your existing installation of Microsoft Edge will be replaced by the new version automatically, and you will be able to tell when it’s done, as it will have a new blue/green swirl icon identifying that you now have the new version. 

We are genuinely excited by this and pleased that Microsoft have put the time and effort into developing the Edge browser, being the standard installation in all Windows operating systems it’s important that they have the software right. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the update or how it may impact any of the websites that you use, then please feel free to get in touch with our Support Team here at Cambridge Support and we’ll be happy to help.

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