|Initial release||July 29, 2015|
|Operating system||iOS, Android, Xbox One System Software, Windows 10, macOS|
|Included with||Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One System Software|
|License||Proprietary software; a component of Windows 10|
Microsoft Edge is a web browser. It was developed by Microsoft. It was first released for Windows 10 and Xbox One in 2015, for Android and iOS in 2017, then macOS in 2019, and has also been made available for older Windows versions back to Windows 7. It replaced Internet Explorer as the default browser on Windows 10. Internet Explorer 11 will remain available alongside Edge on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes. Edge is also the default browser for (the by-now discontinued operating system) Windows 10 Mobile.
Edge connects with Microsoft's online platforms, with the help of Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant. Cortana provides voice control, search functionality, and personalized information. Edge also has a "Reading List" function to sync content between devices. It has a "Reading Mode" that makes reading websites easier. Edge has extensions hosted on the Microsoft Store.
As of May 2022, according to StatCounter, Edge is 2nd most popular web browser in the world after Google Chrome, and slightly ahead of Safari (this differ by country, e.g. in the US Safari has a safe lead on Edge), and way ahead of its predecessor Internet Explorer
History[change | change source]
While Edge was originally built with Microsoft's own technologies ("engines"), it was rebuilt as a Chromium-based browser (for better compatibility with Google Chrome, also built on Chromium, and its extensions). As part of this big change, Microsoft intended to add support for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, macOS, and Linux.
Features[change | change source]
Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, and Xbox One consoles, replacing Internet Explorer 11 and Internet Explorer Mobile. As its development and release is dependent on the model of Windows as a service, it is not included in Windows 10 Enterprise Long-term servicing branch (LTSB) builds.
The browser still includes (while being phased out) an integrated Adobe Flash Player (with an internal whitelist allowing Flash applets on Facebook websites to load automatically, bypassing all other security controls requiring user activation) and a PDF reader. It also supports asm.js.
Edge does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and instead uses an extension system. Internet Explorer 11 remains available alongside Edge on Windows 10 for compatibility; it remains nearly identical to the Windows 8.1 version and does not use the Edge engine as was previously announced.
Edge integrates with Microsoft's online platforms in order to provide voice control, search functionality, and dynamic information related to searches within the address bar. Users can make annotations to web pages that can be stored to and shared with OneDrive, but can't save HTML pages to their own computers. It also integrates with the "Reading List" function and provides a "Reading Mode" that strips unnecessary formatting from pages to improve their legibility.
EdgeHTML[change | change source]
Development[change | change source]
EdgeHTML (2014–2019)[change | change source]
In December 2014, writing for ZDNet, technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was developing a new web browser codenamed "Spartan" for Windows 10. She said that "Spartan" would be treated as a new product separate from Internet Explorer, with Internet Explorer 11 retained alongside it for compatibility.
In November 2017, Microsoft released ports of Edge for Android and iOS. The apps feature integration and synchronization with the desktop version on Windows 10 PCs. Due to platform restrictions and other factors, these ports do not use the same layout engine as the desktop version, and instead use OS-native Webkit-based engines.
In April 2018, Edge added tab audio muting. In June 2018, support for the Web Authentication specifications were added to Windows Insider builds, with support for Windows Hello and external security tokens.
Chromium (2019–present)[change | change source]
On December 6, 2018, Microsoft announced its intent to base Edge on the Chromium source code, using the same rendering engine as Google Chrome but with enhancements developed by Microsoft. It was also announced that there will be versions of Edge available for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and macOS, and that all versions will be updated on a more frequent basis. The initial release of the Chromium-based Edge, for desktops, is expected in the fall of 2019.
On April 8, 2019, the first Chromium-based builds of Edge for Windows were released to the public.
On May 20, 2019, the first Chromium-based preview builds of Edge for macOS were released to the public, marking the first time in 13 years that a Microsoft browser was available on the Mac platform. The last time a Microsoft browser was available on the Mac platform was Microsoft Internet Explorer for the Mac, which was withdrawn in January, 2006.
Reception[change | change source]
Microsoft's planned switch to Chromium as Edge's engine has faced mixed reception. The move will increase consistency of web platform compatibility between major browsers, and for this reason, the move has attracted criticism, as it reduces diversity in the overall web browser market, and increases the influence of Google (developer of the Blink layout engine) on the overall browser market by Microsoft ceding its independently developed browser engine.
[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Weber, Jason (January 21, 2015). "Spartan and the Windows January 10 Preview Build". IEBlog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015.
- Foley, Mary Jo (October 5, 2017). "Microsoft is bringing new Edge apps to iOS, Android". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018.
- Novet, Jordan (May 5, 2015). "Microsoft says it has no plans to open-source its new Edge browser … yet". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017.
- Belfiore, Joe (October 5, 2017). "Announcing Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android, Microsoft Launcher". Windows Blogs. Microsoft.
- Belfiore, Joe (November 30, 2017). "Microsoft Edge now available for iOS and Android". Windows Blogs. Microsoft.
- "Introducing the first Microsoft Edge preview builds for macOS". Microsoft Edge Blog. May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Belfiore, Joe (December 6, 2018), Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration, Microsoft
- "Microsoft Edge and Chromium Open Source: Our Intent". Microsoft Edge Team. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Warren, Tom (December 6, 2018). "Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser on Chrome and bringing it to the Mac". The Verge. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "Overview of Windows as a service (Windows 10)". Microsoft. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Foley, Mary Jo. "Some Windows 10 Enterprise users won't get Microsoft's Edge browser". ZDNet. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- Keizer, Gregg (November 29, 2018). "FAQ: Windows 10 LTSB explained". Computerworld. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
- "Get to know Microsoft Edge". support.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018.
- "Favorites Center - IEBlog". blogs.msdn.microsoft.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2018.
- Cimpanu, Catalin. "Microsoft Edge lets Facebook run Flash code behind users' backs". ZDNet. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- "Windows 10's New Browser Microsoft Edge: Improved, But Also New Risks". trendmicro.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
- Rossi, Jacob (November 11, 2014). "Living on the Edge – our next step in helping the web just work". IEBlog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on January 11, 2015.
- Warren, Tom (January 27, 2015). "Microsoft reveals its Internet Explorer successor will support extensions". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017.
- Foley, Mary Jo (December 29, 2014). "Microsoft is building a new browser as part of its Windows 10 push". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014.
- "Microsoft Edge for iPhone and Android is out of beta". Engadget. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Belfiore, Joe (October 5, 2017). "Announcing Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android, Microsoft Launcher". Windows Blogs. Microsoft. Archived from the original on October 7, 2017.
- "Microsoft's Edge browser now lets you mute tabs". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- Sarkar; et al. (May 23, 2018). "Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17682". Microsoft. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- "Microsoft Edge now supports passwordless sign-ins". Engadget. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- Warren, Tom (December 6, 2018). "Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser on Chrome and bringing it to the Mac". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft's Edge to morph into a Chromium-based, cross-platform browser". ZDNet. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Protalinski, Emil (April 8, 2019). "Microsoft launches first Chromium Edge builds for Windows 10". Venturebeat. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- Foley, Mary Jo (May 20, 2019). "Microsoft releases first Chromium-based Edge preview for MacOS". ZDNet. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- Shankland, Stephen. "Three years in, Microsoft gives up on independent Edge browser and embraces Google's Chromium instead". CNET. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Warren, Tom (January 4, 2018). "Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6". The Verge. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
Further reading[change | change source]
- Weber, Jason (January 22, 2015). "Project Spartan and the Windows January 10 Preview Build". IEBlog. Microsoft.