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Choosing a Browser – Microsoft Edge

 

There are a few pieces of software we use without really thinking about it, one such application is the internet browser.

As we mentioned last week, though, it’s worth considering the pros and cons of each before you make a choice.

 

While many of them (except a select few) are built on a similar base now (the chromium browser; developed at a core level by Google) there are still some major differences to be seen in the way they have chosen to implement their individual style and in some of the additional features they have added. One such Chromium-based browser is Microsoft Edge.

 

 

Back in the 90s at the beginning of the consumer internet, there were two real main choices for a browser – Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Internet explorer, of course, was owned by Microsoft, while Netscape Navigator was a product of a development team called Mozilla (more on them in a future post)

After 20 years of Internet Explorer, Microsoft finally decided to start phasing it out in 2015 – Support for it as a way to access Microsoft Teams was dropped in 2021 on and it will no longer be available with new Windows 10 devices from 2022.

They changed to using Chromium as a base for their new, faster and more modern browser, Edge, which was a completely new piece of software – shedding the image that Internet Explorer had managed to gain over the previous few years as being old, slow and glitchy.

If you’re a frequent user of Microsoft’s software on any platform, you’ll know that they have been pushing Edge quite hard – with the constant “recommendations” that you switch to using becoming quite irritating to some if you’re not using Edge out of choice.

There’s a reason for this push, though, and although it is in some parts a marketing strategy, it’s also targeted towards users who would like to use the standard tools that come with their operating system, and don’t want to worry about downloading or installing additional software.

As browsers go, it’s far more reliable and much faster than Internet Explorer ever was, is very easily available, and is easy to use for those who don’t have a huge amount of experience surfing the web. It is regularly updated, secure, runs quickly and supports extensions to expand its functionality.

Add to that the fact that it integrates deeply and seamlessly with Windows and Microsoft 365 (and thus the Office suite) and these features make it a strong contender.

You may remember features such as focus mode and read aloud from when we were discussing the M365 software – features like this are available in Edge, too, making it a very useful tool – especially for students and younger family members.

 

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