Microsoft Edge

Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 will be free for most, which means you can expect a huge influx of Edge users hitting UK sites. Microsoft have been slowly plodding along with their (let’s face it) pretty terrible browser ‘Internet Explorer’ for far too long – but not anymore! Edge is set to completely replace the very slow and clunky IE, with features such as:

  • Reading View (which they’ve brought back), which offers the ability to browse a cleaner, simplified version of a page (which is free of distracting ads and images)
  • Cortana, which is Microsoft’s digital assistant. Similar to the ‘Search Google for…’ feature In Chrome, all a user needs to do is highlight a word or phrase and Cortana can search for it and display the results in a separate window.
  • Web Notes, which allows users to make notations and doodle over web pages, then save everything as an image to be shared via email, Evernote or OneNote.

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Why is Edge a good thing for Web Developers?
Well, there are several reasons why Edge is something developers should be happy about, the main one being because it’s not Internet Explorer! Edge supports far more web standards than IE ever did, which is fantastic for users and developers as support for Content Security Policy, HTML5 elements and CSS selectors means that websites will be securer and richer in the features they offer. Although this is a huge step forward, Edge is still miles behind their closest rivals (Chrome and Firefox) as they support a wider range of standards than Edge currently does – although Microsoft have announced they will be updating Edge to add further support.
Abandoning ActiveX (IE’s platform for developing extensions), instantly gives Edge a security upgrade as it favours HTML5 instead. Not all of IE’s features have been left on the road side however, as Smart Screen Filter remains in order to warn users if they attempt to access a reported phishing site.
Microsoft said ‘The cornerstone of the all-new Microsoft Edge web platform is EdgeHTML, a new engine designed from the ground-up with interoperability at its core’. The new features in the EdgeHTML engine at the moment include:

  • Thousands of bug fixes focused on browser interoperability and site compatibility
  • Implementation of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, HTTP/2, delivers web page elements quicker and more efficiently
  • Enhancements to security features with updates to the Web Cryptography API and implementation of the Content Security Policy 1.0 specification
  • Improved graphics functionality for 3D scenes through preserve-3d support
  • Implementation of the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 XPath Specification adds native XPath support in the browser
  • New language features from the latest ECMAScript 6 (ES6) draft specification
  • Native PDF support

Although the stats seem to be in favour of IE, as 34.63% of the UK seem to be using it – we think the general consensus is that we’re all glad to see the back of it!
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.
Image Source: Microsoft

Written by Shannon May