For many years, Google Chrome was the de-facto browser of choice on Windows PCs, far and away the most popular browser. We would usually install it when we setup new computers because it was a far better browser than Internet Explorer and early versions of Microsoft Edge.
However, a few years back, Microsoft wanted to make Edge relevant again. They basically told folks to quit using Internet Explorer and they decided to rebuild Edge to use the same back-end rendering engine as Chrome. In 2020, the new Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium was released, and it’s been getting better since. Many of our techs are using it as their primary browser, and it has some great features that might make it worth switch. While some of these features are available via extensions to Chrome, it’s nice to have the features built-in. Here are some pretty cool and unique features to look at in Edge:
- Easy Synchronization: While Chrome obviously supports this, it only works with Google accounts. Which is fine if you use Google Workplace at your organization, but what if you’re a Microsoft 365 company (like all our clients)? Microsoft Edge will sync your bookmarks, form-fill info, passwords, and settings to your Microsoft account. More info.
- Tab Groups: If you’re a browser that likes to have a zillion tabs open, Edge allows you to group and color tabs. To use tab groups, right-click on a tab and click Add tab to a new group. Then, create a label and choose a color to identify the tab group. When the tab group is set up, you can add tabs to the group by dragging and dropping, and you can also share a tab group in a collection. Read more on How To Geek on how to use them.
- Immersive Reader: Edge has a built-in Immersive Reader function. When looking at a Web page, hit the F9 button (or press the button on the menu bar). Basically, Immersive Reader is great for reading long text pages as it simplifies page layouts, remove clutter, and makes things easier to read.
- Password Monitor: Microsoft Edge has a feature where it will securely check your saved passwords against known compromises to make sure your password hasn’t been made available during a breach. You can read more about the technology here.
- Edge Workspaces: Edge Workspaces is a great way to organize browser tabs and favorites. Then you can save and share that workspace with other folks in your organization. This is technically an experimental feature at the moment, but it’s a great way to share a collection of web pages with your team. See it in action below:
- Vertical Tabs: Browser Tabs were introduced decades ago, and they’ve typically been horizonal tabs across the top or bottom of the window. Edge now has the ability to give you vertical tabs. Here’s how to turn them on, if you choose to do so. Some people think they’re weird (I’m one of them) but still like them.
- Tracking Prevention: The bulk majority of Google’s revenue comes from advertising, and that advertising requires their tracking code to installed every where. Needless to say, Google isn’t going to make it easy to turn off trackers while Edge has that feature built in.
- Typo Protection: If you fat-finger a website URL and misspell it, you can sometimes be led to a fraudulent website. Edge has a built-in Typo Protection.
While there are still some quirks with Edge (not that Chrome is quirk-free), it’s getting to be a very good experience for most folks. While Chrome is still king, don’t be surprised to see Edge being used more and more.