Why You Should Switch To Microsoft Edge

If you use Microsoft's Edge browser in any capacity, congratulations! You're incredibly rare, so much so that services like Statcounter don't even have your browser of choice in its top-six list.

You would think that Edge's market share of 1.86 per cent - according to Statcounter's figures when we wrote this - would be a little higher, given that Microsoft bakes the browser into Windows 10 and it's the only option you have on a brand-new, untouched version of the OS. But there you go. Nobody's really using Edge, but that didn't stop Microsoft from officially launching a version of the browser for both Android and iOS in November, and rolling out support for both iOS and Android tablets this week.

Why give Edge a try?

If you're already wedded to Chrome or Firefox, convincing you to switch to another browser - a Microsoft browser, at that - is probably futile, but we'll at least try to lay out a reasonable case for why Edge is interesting.

As soon as you fire up Edge, Microsoft asks you to synchronise the app with your existing Microsoft account, a standard browser practice that allows you to then share your favourites, history, passwords, browser data, and settings between your PCs, smartphones, and tablets. That's nothing new.

The browser itself has a nice, streamlined design, with navigation buttons on the bottom - a welcome sight for Safari and Firefox users, and a slight adjustment for Chrome fans.

Speaking of, Edge was just as fast as Chrome when we ran Browserbench's JetStream test on iOS versions of both browsers, and it actually beat Chrome on Browserbench's Speedometer test by an increase of around 20 per cent. It feels incredibly responsive to use for mundane tasks, like adding or modifying bookmarks and pulling up (or switching between) tabs.

Edge's best feature: Throwing tabs to your Windows 10 PC

Microsoft's "Continue on PC" functionality works flawlessly. Assuming you've connected Edge and your other desktops or laptops to your Microsoft account, you can send anything you're looking at on your smartphone or tablet right on over to one of your PCs. The page will immediately pop up in Windows 10's Edge browser, and you sit down at your desk to keep reading (or watching).

This trick is a one-way street (for now, at least), so you can't send tabs you're viewing in Edge on Windows 10 to your smartphone or tablet. We can only presume Microsoft will address that in some future update.

In general, Edge feels streamlined and minimal. There aren't very many options you can configure if you wanted to - far fewer than what you'd find on Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If anything, Edge is a little unbaked, but it will work perfectly for you if you've already bought into Microsoft's ecosystem. Otherwise, it's a speedy, simple browser ... if you can be convinced to make the switch.


Comments

    So the reason is because it is a thing that exists?

      That's the reason I gave the judge to explain my meth habit.

    Having forced myself to use it, and Bing, for a month I was surprised at how good it was. As someone who spends nearly all day in various browser sessions I was well prepared for it to be as clunky as when it first came out and to be setting myself up for a fail. It's actually usable now. I think there was only one or two occasions where I had to flip to Chrome for some reason.

    All very well and good, until you leave outlook.com open in Edge on a PC, and watch it cripple your computer. It's absurd that one of Microsoft's premier websites causes so many problems on Microsoft's own browser. Bring back IE.

    No thanks. No Ad blocking plugins is a no go for me.

    Tried it once. Never again.

    Explorer and Edge will always be chrome download tools for me.

      Just edit the host files on your computer to block known ad domains. Means your browser doesnt need some extension that slows down your surfing and monitors everything you do.

        So edit a host file and install edge

        Or Just install a simple addon and use Chrome

        Yeah no thanks ill stick with chrome.

        FYI, Microsoft also keeps track of your browsing habits through Edge. And if a simple addon slows down your browsing. You have a shit computer.

      The ABP extension works. Not sure when they brought out extension support, but this has been there for a while now.

      I like to maintain some pretence of a work-life separation so I started using Edge for all my work browsing. It's satisfactory. I can't really say anything bad about it other than a simple browser might not be to everyone's tastes.

      But I always make sure the default search is set to Google.

      I just fired up edge and it seems to have extensions. Adguard runs fine on it.

      I don't use Edge much, but I did try it for a while and an ad blocker was one of the first things I installed. Here's the link to uBock Origin:
      https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NBLGGH444L4
      AdBlock and Adblock Plus are also available (they're the first two extensions in the list when you explore extensions)

    Last time I tried that Continue on PC feature, I was told to sign in with a Microsoft account. Microsoft can go expletive themselves if that's how it works.

      To be fair, how do you expect it to know where to send the page without a Microsoft account?

      I don't know how else you expected it to work or how different it is from signing into Google Chrome and giving Google access to your history and favourite sites.

        Token, only using local wifi.... Plenty of ways. I shouldn't need to use a shitty Microsoft Account to log into my machine just to send a URL to it.
        And no, I don't log into chrome either.

    Anyone who develops for the Web knows what a pig ie has been. Microsoft have poisoned their own well. Good riddance.

    There are far too many reason NOT TO use Edge, and very few reasons TO use it. None of the reasons in this article are good enough to even consider switching. Having said that I use multiple browsers sometimes for various reasons, including Edge occasionally.

    The only one I use for serious work is Chrome with a variety of extensions that I have installed over the years.

    Older browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have so many plugins, extensions and apps that they are like operating systems in themselves. So, one can't just ditch one for another without a lot of effort to re-introduce the same functionality.

    Is it a bad browser? No.

    Is it worth ditching over Chrome? No. Unlike some others I don't do a lot of work within my browser (I run extensions to make browsing better, not to do work) but even so I wouldn't start using Edge. There's just no reason to when Chrome is already very good and has become the standard for web browsers.

    Chrome isn't perfect but it's good enough, and Edge isn't good enough to consider a change.

      Exactly.

      Chrome gives me all i want from it and ties in perfectly with my google account allowing me to transfer bookmarks accross devices.

      There is literally no reason for me to switch to edge.

    ehh. Not seeing anything worth bothering with.
    Simple? Uncluttered!?

    Look, I used Opera for years for exactly the opposite reason, then they tore up everything and turned it into a Chrome reskin and I stopped caring.
    Now I have Vivaldi, thankfully.

    Most of what you describe (aside from speed of course. More speed is never bad) is the antithesis of what I ask from a browser.
    Why else would I use Vivaldi?
    And have roughly 200 tabs open at any given time?
    Thanks but no thanks.

    I live in Thailand and can't really view real-time streaming content because of network latency issues, even though my internet service is 75 Mbps. This has dogged me for years, and remains a problem even after hardware upgrades and various configuration changes.

    I use Chrome most of the time, but I gave Edge a try on one of the most troubling sites. It streamed without any trouble, not even a little burp. 720p, 1080p, no problem. Tried with Youtube -- no problem.

    I don't know what the issue is with Chrome, but for now my choice for streaming is Edge.

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