BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
Microsoft Edge is the browser created for Windows 10; Edge replaces Internet Explorer (IE), the browser that debuted with Windows 95 and was a part of Windows operating systems for the following two decades.
Edge is a smaller, more streamlined browser built on Web standards and designed for Web services. Microsoft currently has no plans to bring Edge to earlier versions of Windows or provide versions for any non-Windows operating systems.
Edge has trimmed back the bloat that most modern browsers, including IE, had; it has also dropped Active-X support. Edge was code-named “Spartan” in development, a reference to the browser’s lightweight structure, which is designed to make Edge functional across multiple, often mobile, device platforms.
Edge installs along with Windows 10 much the same way Internet Explorer did with earlier versions. However, IE is also included in Windows 10 for communication compatibility, particularly within the enterprise.
Edge’s features include:
- Inking -- an annotation tool that allows users to write or draw on Web pages.
- Cortana -- a personal virtual assistant from Halo, a popular video game.
- Private browsing.
- Security features such as Microsoft Passport and asymmetric cryptography to deter phishing and other social engineering attacks.
- Support for Firefox and Chrome add-ons.
- Faster overall page rendering.
- Integration with social media.
- Automatic form fill.
- Uncluttered interface.
- Reduced resource consumption to optimize for low-power devices.
See a brief introduction to Microsoft Edge: