The new, improved version of Microsoft’s Edge browser has been launched in an update to all Windows 10 users in a move that will give Google’s Chrome some competition.
Available To Millions of Users
In being made available via update to Windows 10 versions 1803, 1809,1903 and 1909. The new version of Edge (Edge replaced Explorer), is now accessible to many millions of users. This wide availability, coupled with the improved features that the updated Chromium-based browser has, may mean that it narrows the gap from its second-place market position towards Google’s Chrome in first place.
Microsoft says that Edge now offers “best in class compatibility with extensions and websites” and “provides great support for the latest rendering capabilities, modern web applications, and powerful developer tools across all supported OS platforms.”
In addition to having a new, swish green and blue wave-style logo (which stands out more on the screen), information to note about the new version of Edge includes:
- Start menu pins, tiles, and shortcuts from the current version of Microsoft Edge migrate to the new Microsoft Edge, as do taskbar pins and shortcuts.
- The new Microsoft Edge is pinned to the taskbar and replaces the current version of Edge if it is already pinned. The new Edge adds a shortcut to the desktop and replaces any existing shortcut.
- By default, most protocols that Microsoft Edge handles will have been migrated to the new Microsoft Edge.
- The current version of Microsoft Edge will be hidden from UX surfaces in the OS. This includes settings, applications, and any file or protocol support dialog boxes.
- Attempts to start the current version of Microsoft Edge redirect to the new Microsoft Edge.
- The First Run Experience (FRE) auto-launches the first time that a device restarts after the new Microsoft Edge has been installed.
- Data from earlier versions of Microsoft Edge (such as passwords, favourites, open tabs) are available in the new Microsoft Edge.
- This new Microsoft Edge does not support uninstalling of the update.
Google’s Chrome has faced some criticism over security so Edge’s new security features may be one area where it can claw back some ground in competition and appeal to users who have been working from home during the pandemic and need to ensure that they can protect business data. Some of the new security features include:
- The ‘Profiles’ feature helps users separate work and personal browsing using something called “Automatic Profile Switching”. Edge allows users to set up different profiles and the switching feature deals with the challenge of getting links to open in the right profile and making sure that users don’t mistakenly open work content in their personal profile. It does this by using a prompt to users to switch to their work profile to access a site without having to authenticate to it
- For Windows 10 and 8.1, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a feature in the new Edge to help users to identify reported phishing and malware websites and make informed decisions about downloads. SmartScreen analyses pages and determines if they might be suspicious, checks the sites that a user visits against a dynamic list of reported phishing sites and malicious software sites, and checks files that users download against a list of reported malicious software sites.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
The new Edge browser also has quick and easy links to Microsoft apps (from the app Launcher – top left) which users may also find useful in their day-to-day work. Some commentators have suggested that this Chromium based browser looks as though it could be worthy alternative to the mighty Google Chrome.
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