The web browser has become one of the most important tools that we have at our disposal. We communicate, read, play games, check our social media accounts, and some do much of their work in a web browser. I know that my browser journey through the years has been a long one. The first web browser I tried many years ago was a text only browser called Lynx. From there I went on to Internet Explorer (I know, cringe). It didn’t take long before I discovered Netscape and switched without looking back. I played with Opera off and on but never really stuck with it. When Firefox eventually entered the picture I was sold. I was a loyal Mozilla Firefox user for years. Eventually I tried Google Chrome and have been using it from then on.
Microsoft has been on a browser journey of their own. They developed Internet Explorer all the way through version 11. It has never been my browser of choice for many reasons but I have to admit that it has come a long way (though it was left behind by its competitors).
Microsoft knew there was no way to make Internet Explorer competitive with the likes of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari (for Mac). They knew they had to make a change and that’s just what they did. That change came to be known as Edge. By the time they released Edge Internet Explorer already had a horrible reputation, especially on the security front. Edge was faster, had a better feature set, and was far more secure. It still had it’s issues though. This time instead of doubling down on their browser and allowing themselves to be left behind they chose to completely flip the script.
Microsoft rebuilt Edge using Chromium. What is Chromium? Chromium is open source-code that can be compiled into a browser. It is fast, feels light weight, and has a minimalistic interface. With the new Chromium based Edge browser it looks like Microsoft just might finally have their web browser game on point.
Edge Legacy End of Support
Microsoft announced last August that it would end support of the Edge Legacy desktop app in March of this year. On March 9th support officially ended. That means no more security updates. In an update Microsoft rolled out last April they removed Edge Legacy and replaced it with the new Edge browser. This is a good thing because running a browser with no security updates is asking for trouble.
Dangers of out of date software:
- Security risks – If your apps aren’t up to date you will miss critical security updates that patch up holes and protect you from malware and hackers. Malware is short for malicious software. There are at least 560,000 new instances of malware created every day. Hackers are discovering security holes all the time.
- Performance issues – With out of date software new found bugs wont be addressed and dealt with. Another issue is compatibility. Programs that are out of date can run into issues with working properly (or at all) with new operating systems and hardware.
- Data loss – Using out of date software is risking potential data loss. If the app you are using isn’t working correctly, is vulnerable to malware, or is exploited by hackers you could lose important data.
Long story short it is wise to keep your operating system and the apps you run on it up to date. It is worthwhile to check to make sure Microsoft successfully replaced Legacy Edge. Here is how to do it:
- Open Edge.
- Open the main menu by clicking the three dots in the upper right corner.
- Choose Help and feedback.
- Click About Microsoft Edge.
- On the screen that opens you will be able to see what version you have and if it is up to date. If it’s not then update Windows. By updating Windows (which we should all do anyway) Edge should be updated too. If that fails you can download it from Microsoft. Just click the link below.
How to update Windows:
- Click Start.
- Click the icon that looks like a gear to open Settings.
- Click Update & Security.
- Under Windows Update click Check for updates.
You can download the new Edge here.
New Edge Features
- Built on Chromium.
- Ability to install Chrome extensions.
- A parental control feature called Kids Mode.
- Improvements to font rendering.
- Support for Single Sign On for Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Account for Mac users.
- Improvements to autofill suggestions.
- A new downloads flyout that will appear at the top right corner of the screen.
- Printing improvements.
- New history search options.
- Password Monitor to notify you if your passwords have been compromised.
- Allows you to bulk delete passwords.
- Sidebar search so you can do a quick search without having to open a new tab.
- Ability to install websites as apps.
- Ability to pin websites to the Taskbar.
- Ability to pin tabs in Edge.
- Allows you to put tabs to sleep so you can save on resources.
- Ability to change DNS providers.
The above list just highlights some of the features. The new Edge is a vast improvement on Edge Legacy and lightyears better that Internet Explorer.
Is the New Edge a Good Web Browser? I would say it is a quality browser. As stated earlier, I am currently a Google Chrome user. That said, you can accomplish everything on Edge that you can on Chrome or Firefox. You can catch up on email, scroll and post to social media accounts, Google things, play games, and even do serious work. Only speaking for myself, I’m not currently switching from Chrome to Edge because I am used to the way Chrome feels and works. For anyone that would like to gove Microsoft’s newest browser a try it is a fast and quality browser.