The internet browser, we’ve all been using one since the internet launched. From Netscape to Firefox and Opera to Chrome there has been a plethora of browsers to choose from. But one has reigned supreme for a long number of years now, Google Chrome. Microsoft used to be the top dog with its Internet Explorer browser but they quickly slipped into a funk and lost ground to Google. Now, the company has officially released its new Microsoft Edge browser and it is totally worth a shot.
Before we move on, you have to get the dumpster fire that is Internet Explorer out of your head as well as the previous version of Microsoft Edge. Microsoft (MS) has seen the light and has finally produced a browser worthy of actually using. The ironic part of this story is that Microsoft Edge is built on Chromium, which is an open-source project that Google is heavily involved in.
As a matter of fact, there are plenty of other browsers also using the Chromium project to make browsers, here are just a few:
Chromium is similar to Android in its open-source nature. This means anyone is free to use the source code to create a browser and make it their own. Google Chrome itself has proprietary code that only Google can use but its still based on Chromium and the core code offers a lot. This means Microsoft Edge can function free from Google and Microsoft can tailor the browser to its parameters.
Switching is pretty seamless, just download Microsoft Edge from their website and install it. If you’re already using the old Edge browser and are syncing your data, then everything should just mover over to the new Edge. If you’re using Chrome or any other browser, then you’ll need to import your settings from those platforms.
If you’re trying to back away from Google and Google services, for whatever reason, Microsoft Edge does not link you to any Google services out of the box. Of course, if you want to access anything Google you can but you’ll need to hunt those things down. Even the default search engine is Bing, which I have been using now for the better part of 6-years. You can change this in settings if you prefer Google search.
Now, the biggest advantage the new Edge has over the old, as well as Internet Explorer, is extensions. Many people use extensions in Chrome and the lack of extensions certainly kept me away from Microsoft Edge. That being said, I don’t use a lot of extensions but the two that I do use are supported on this browser, Speed Dial 2 and Grammarly. There are a bunch of others in the Microsoft Store and you can install them from the Chrome Store as well.
Microsoft also gives you complete control over your privacy settings with three tiers, Basic, Balanced, and Strict. Of course, Bing Rewards is also a part of the new Microsoft Edge browser. Bing Rewards gives you points for using Bing search and you can use those points towards merchandise and services with Microsoft and its partners.
The new browser is also supposed to be better in not eating up your PC resources. Google Chrome is a notorious resource hog and is often the cause of PCs and Macs running hot and hard. This version of Edge is supposedly much more efficient than Google Chrome. I’ll need more time to experience that but so far it seems to be running fast and smooth.
Overall, Microsoft Edge browser is going to feel very familiar if you’re already using Google Chrome. There’s not much of a learning curve and UI is not too far off from what you see in Chrome. As someone who has been trying to detach from the Google teat, I’m glad Microsoft is finally offering an alternative that is actually great. I’ve fully switched over to Edge and if all goes well, I plan on staying on Edge with Bing as my search engine going forward.