Taking It To A New Edge

May 11, 2020

There is a change coming.

When Windows 10 appeared on the scene around five years ago, Microsoft gave us a new web browser called Edge.

It was a replacement for the ageing Internet Explorer.  But, in my experience, nobody bothered with it.

Chrome or Firefox was now the flavour of the day. Many even stayed with Internet Explorer. It still existed within Windows 10, so why not?

The sad thing is that Edge isn’t too bad. It’s lightweight and responsive. But, as with many things, we often continue with what we know, and the take up of Edge never happened.

So Microsoft is trying again.

A New Start

According to Wikipedia,  in November 2019, 67.15% of people were using Google Chrome on their computers.

By contrast, Edge had 5.97%.

Microsoft needed to improve this. But why? Who cares which browser we use?

Well, tech companies care. We are in an era where data collection is the new gold.  Collecting data allows for target advertising. And targeted ads make money – lots of money.

In 2019, Google’s revenue from website adverts alone was $113.26 billion

And Microsoft would like a slice of that.

Join The Gang

So what has Microsoft done to try to convince us to use their browser? They have simply decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

The new Edge browser uses the Chrome engine. It is essentially Chrome with a covering of Microsoft.

It has all the advantages of Chrome but without the Google services. You use Bing search by default. And if you want to sync your favourites and history, you use your Microsoft account, not your Google one.

And it even has some features that Chrome does not – at least for the moment.

What’s New

One of the extra features of Edge is a system called tracking prevention.

Websites use trackers to collect information to target advertising. After all the mention of data collection, that may sound familiar. In Microsoft’s defence, its plan is to prevent harmful trackers: the type that offer malicious programs or overload the browser with ads.

The second handy new feature is a PUP blocker. PUP’s are potentially unwanted programs. The type of application or toolbar that will offer you something that you don’t need in exchange for money or data.

So Is It Worth Switching?

The big question. If you are currently using Edge, you won’t have a choice. The next big Windows 10 update is on its way, and you will receive the new version then. This blog post was really to make you aware of that: to be ready when your icon suddenly changes.

But if you use another browser?

Stick with what you know. Unless it’s Internet Explorer – then you should consider changing.

Any questions on this or anything else, please get in touch.