The first thing many people did back in the day was groan about having to use Internet Explorer. With its tons of toolbars and terrible pop-up blocker, it was almost heaven send when browsers like Firefox and Chrome came into popularity. For years now, Chrome has become the standard in browsers and rightfully slow. It is high speed, compact, and stylish to look out for themes and extensions to customize it even further. Internet Explorer or IE, had effectively become the browser that many people used just to download one of it’s better counterparts. However, during the release of Windows 10, Internet Explorer was no longer found. In its place came Microsoft Edge, an objectively faster and better-looking browser than it’s predecessor. Even so, the browser looked like a reskin and no one gave it a chance. They would still only come to use it as a browser downloader and leave it in the shadows of their computers. What if they gave it a chance though?
To clear things up, Internet Explorer is not totally in the tech graveyard yet. The browser is still present through legacy apps, but other then that, Edge has taken IE over. Edge is visibly superior to IE, keeping a sleek aesthetic that blends well with Microsoft’s Metro explorer. Edge still has tabs, private browsing, and revolves around Bing as a primary search engine. However, Edge is also mixed in with Windows 10’s Cortana, a virtual assistant loaded onto the OS to help with searches on Bing or to find applications and files on your computer. Cortana also helps to search when you’re browsing as well. If you select a word or image and right-click it, you are able to Ask Cortana and be given results on a panel to the right of whatever page you may be browsing at the time. Not to mention when you’re looking up a restaurant or business, a circle will appear and Cortana will be there to give you information about the number, hours of operation, and directions. Edge gives you the most literal embodiment of a Virtual Assistant. IE gives you nothing like this, aside from the fact you can highlight information and choose to search through Bing in another tab. Microsoft will continue to put its efforts into Edge, so hoping for anything similar to happen in IE is a lost cause.
Another feature that allows Edge to stand out is it’s reading mode. In this mode, you are allowed to block out all ads, links, and graphics on a webpage. This is helpful if you are easily distracted while reading or if the graphics just get in the way in general. Firefox and Safari also come with a similar feature as well as Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 only. Sorry to all other Windows users! Also when you’re reading you are able to write on pages in Edge’s Web Note. Web Note turns the current page you are on into a place for your notes or doodles. You can take the image after you are done and export it so you can share it via Mail or any other way you so choose. As for IE, you’ll need to stick to taking screenshots and using Paint or OneNote to mark-up and save them for someone else to see.
Speaking of Sharing…
Edge makes sharing an absolute breeze compared to Internet Explorer. A Share button is built right into the navigational bar of Edge, allowing you to share interesting pages with your friends. As long as you have the apps installed on your Windows devices such as Facebook, Mail, Twitter or OneNote, you will be able to share them with just one click. Internet Explorer once upon a time had the same feature in Windows 8, but has gone missing now that Windows 10 has been live and Edge has taken the spotlight. Edge also continues to trump its former self through the First Page. When you open a new window or tab in Edge you are given a selection of top sites, sort of like how Google Chrome shows you your top sites as well. Edge also gives you a personalized newsfeed in attempts to give you information on topics it thinks you’d be interested in based on your history. As well as those features, Edge gives you a bar that you already selected to type into, asking you where you want to go next. It allows for you to search quickly and keep up your pace. IE had a similar layout at one point, but you had to click in the bar to get going.
Overall, Edge comes out smelling like roses between the two. It was specifically made to be a better option and allow Internet Explorer to finally come to its end. Even though it is being replaced, IE will probably not be forgotten by people who used it. Even if it wasn’t the most optimized browser or even the most liked by people, it had a part to play in the furthering of technology and bettering our search browsers. Edge itself has yet to topple the competition of browsers, but it isn’t a bad option at all. Microsoft took their mistakes and attempted to better themselves and even added some of their own unique features to try and stand out from the crowd. Hopefully in the future Edge will be continuously worked on so that maybe more people will choose to use it instead of others like Oprea or Chrome.
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