Of all of features Microsoft have packed into the latest version of Windows, perhaps the most celebrated was their decision to overhaul the on board web browser.
Internet Explorer has received a long overdue demotion. In its place, Microsoft Edge is stepping up to the plate.
Lean and Mean
Boot up Edge for the first time, and you’re initially struck by how bare the interface looks. Rather than that being a negative however, Edge has been stripped down for a simple, clean and clinical performance. Along the top sits just one bar, which acts as both a portal to your favourite search engine (Bing is the default) and the address bar if you already know where you want to go. Below it sits a collection of content built from the popular Windows News app, which promotes stories based on your interests, as well as scores for your favourite sports teams.
Simplicity is certainly one of Edge’s strengths, and the de-cluttered approach marries favourably with Microsoft’s promise for faster performance. Edge is a marked improvement on previous IE efforts, loading webpages with consummate ease, and webpages adjust to resized windows cleanly and efficiently.
For look and feel then, Edge scores high. Stripping back on the design, Windows finally houses a on board browser that delivers effortless web browsing.
Despite the lean aesthetics, Microsoft have still found room for a number of enticing features for Edge, each of which offers a new layer of functionality. Beginning with Cortana. A feature prominent throughout Windows 10, Cortana is also at your beck and call when browsing the web.
Cortana adds an extra layer of depth and convenience to your web browsing experience. For example, when I began to type “weather” into the search bar on the main page, Cortana jumped in and gave me a breakdown of the current weather at my current location.
Elsewhere, Cortana can perform a quick web search of any line of text you choose when browsing online. Highlight the text, right click an select “Ask Cortana”, and a new panel appears on the right. Within it sits a collection of information bing holds on that subject.
Reading View and Reading List
Reading Views are nothing new on web browsers, but Microsoft have successfully brought the concept to Edge. For those who have never tried it, Reading View strips down your chosen webpage, removing intrusive ads and presenting only the text and images in an ultra-basic manner. Some publications don’t support the feature, but for those that do, it can really improve the ease at which you read through an article. The feature is particularly easy on the eye for tablet users who use their fingers to scroll through content at a fast pace.
Reading List, on the face of it, works is much the same way as bookmarks. Found an article that takes your fancy but don’t have enough to peruse through it now? Pop it on the Reading List and come back to it later.
Writing on Pages
The defining feature of Microsoft’s new browser is the ability to scribble various notes on webpages you’re browsing, which can then be saved and shared. Various tools appear when you click the appropriate icon in the top right corner. Using your finger, pen or mouse, you can creatively scrawl across your current webpage, or attach post-it like annotations (as you can see from my artistic efforts below).
When you’re done, you can save the page to OneNote, or share it with your friends via Mail. One useful scenario for this feature comes from a collaborative shopping purchase. You could browse the product page of a given item, annotate and edit as you see fit, then send it off for approval to the other member of buying decision. Plus, when you return, it remains a fully functioning page (with your additions intact), rather than just a screenshot.
Window 10 at Ebuyer.com