Will Microsoft Edge Browser Replace Google Chrome, Firefox?

by September 17, 2015 0 comments

Developed under the codename Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new web browser is called Edge and will replace Internet Explorer in Windows 10. Microsoft’s new browser is a Windows App, rather than a traditional desktop application. It has morphed into more simplified version of IE, sports the borderless frames and minimalist aesthetic design.

Microsoft Edge is light on resources and is designed using EdgeHTML layout engine that removes support for legacy technologies such as ActiveX in favor of extensions and integration with other Microsoft services and is interoperable with other modern browsers. There’s also integration with Cortana to provide additional information – for example, when you’re on a web page for a restaurant, Cortana will make a booking and display information such as opening time. The new browser will be the default browser for PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones running Windows 10.

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Cortana
Windows 10’s voice assistant seems to be present everywhere, and Edge is no exception in this regard. When you are on a webpage for which directions are required—say you’re on a hotel or a restaurant’s webpage—Cortana surfaces in her blue circle in the browser toolbar giving relevant information.You can also right-click on selected text to have Cortana find info about the selection.

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New-Tab Page
The new-tab page still shows top sites like IE, but now also pops app suggestions, weather, sports scores, and video suggestions. The page doesn’t show an address bar, but you can type a URL into its search box that will take you to the desired web page.

Reading Mode
This feature has been available in other browsers (particularly in Apple’s Safari) but is now landing to Microsoft’s new browser. This re-structures the web page eliminating advertisements, menus and other distractions aside from the main text and images, sidebars into an easy to read layout.

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Reading List
It is a way of temporarily bookmarking a page without adding it to your favorites. The Reading List links are shown with large pictures taken from the content along with large clear headlines, making it really easy to quickly scan through and find the link you want.

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Page Annotations
Not present in rivals like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari, this feature lets you mark up web pages with a highlighter or drawing tool and then share them as an image file in email or social apps.

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Edge vs Chrome vs Internet Explorer
We ran benchmarks on the latest versions of Edge, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, in order to see which was quickest. Test bed comprised of Intel Pentium Processor clocked at 2.41Ghz, 8GB RAM, SSD storage.
All the benchmarks ran a predefined list of tasks to measure the browser’s efficiency in completing a predefined list of tasks. Typical test tasks include rendering and animation, DOM transformations, string operations, mathematical calculations, sorting algorithms, graphic performance tests and memory instructions.

Browsermark indicated that Edge was a little quicker than IE, but was still well behind Chrome and Firefox. In Octane also Edge was level up with Chrome and Firefox, and easily outrunning IE (scoring lowest). SunSpider measures core JavaScript performance on tasks relevant to the current and near future use of JavaScript in the real world, such as encryption and text manipulation. Here also Edge topped the list completing the whole test in just 325.8 miliseconds. However, Edge scored last in Peacekeeper. Thus in general, Edge seems to be a bit quicker than Internet Explorer.

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We also did testing on system real estate that a browser uses. To perform this, we fire up five tabs in each browser with the same sites in each. The homepage includes Youtube.com, mashable.com, facebook.com, ibnlive.com and cnet.com. We then used the Task Manager to total up the memory usage of all the processes used and CPU usage. In this test the edge browser seemed to be memory hungry.

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Final thoughts
It’s early days obviously and we think it’s not going to be a issue on laptops or desktops but while running on tablets and phones as well, the browser needs to maintain a much smaller presence than this as they are limited to resources.

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