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Microsoft Edge: tester’s opinion

The brand new Windows 10 has recently introduced a modern browser by default - Microsoft Edge. What should you expect from this innovation?
11 December 2015
Web app testing
The article by a1qa
a1qa

Today a large number of web applications are tested in Internet Explorer. Despite all its disadvantages it has been a Microsoft Windows default browser since 1995. The brand new Windows 10 has recently introduced a modern browser by default – Microsoft Edge. What should you expect from this innovation, and how is it likely to impact web app testing?

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft developers are at their best to create a browser different from the unpopular Internet Explorer. In future, Microsoft Edge is intended to replace Internet Explorer, but the current version of Windows 10 has both browsers installed.

Microsoft Edge has a number of new features, such as a Markup tool to create notes on the necessary pages, reading mode and reading list, Cortana assistance, etc. This new browser has inherited some features from IE, but it has an upgraded structure.

Let’s have a closer look on Microsoft Edge new and peculiar features.

Home page and search bar

The first page is not the actual web-page, but a customizable home page. It is split up in multiple sections containing the latest news, weather and other information you need.

Microsoft Edge search bar is the address bar as well. It allows you to search information or instantly view the weather forecast, stock quotes, definitions, results of calculations, etc.

Settings

Unlike Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge doesn’t have awkward settings that are not clear to common users. Microsoft Edge menu contains the minimum required options for web surfing and easy use, e.g. Cortana assistant, theme customization, favorites, etc.

Notes right on the web page

Microsoft Edge is the only browser that allows you to draw or type directly on web pages. Add your ideas to the page content and share them with others or save them in OneNote.

To use the Notes tool you need to click the Pencil icon on the bar. You can add comments, highlight the text or clip out some parts of the page. If you have a touch screen, you’ll certainly like this feature.

Share function

Not all web pages have special buttons to share the article through your mail, OneNote or social network accounts. Microsoft Edge has a solution. Simply click the Share button on the bar and select the necessary way of sharing.

Reading mode and reading list

Microsoft Edge is aimed at making the process of reading as comfortable as possible. Using the reading mode you can read the text without needless elements such as banners, adds etc. The text is matched to the size of your screen. In addition, any web pages or PDF files can be saved in the reading list for a later reading.

Reading mode is not a new feature for a browser. Special extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and other browsers leave only the text block and pictures of the article removing all other elements from the page.

Cortana assistant

Microsoft Edge allows you to act quickly. Cortana personal assistant gives an instant access to the main actions, such as booking the tickets or hotel rooms, reading reviews, etc. right from your current page. All you need to do is just to say “Hey, Cortana” and make a request.

Cortana assistant is one of the considerable advantages of Windows 10 over Apple OS X. Cortana is a competitor of well-known Siri that is integrated into iOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems. Cortana has the main benefit for Russian speaking countries – it has complete Russian language support.

Adobe flash player

Microsoft Edge has a built-in Adobe Flash Player. It means that you don’t need to install and upgrade it manually. Moreover, you can turn it off in the browser settings.

Extensions

One of the first extensions compatible with Microsoft Edge is Bing Translator that will provide automatic translation of web sites, even in the read mode. Unfortunately, this feature will be turned on only after the release of the Windows 10 final version by updating through the Windows Store.

Microsoft developers wanted to create a new browser and they did it. Microsoft Edge is not similar to any other browser available on the present-day market.

Is Microsoft Edge good enough to replace unpopular Internet Explorer? Or will it just become IE’s next version? Any integrated system solution will always have its audience. The current version of Microsoft Edge is unstable and contains a number of bugs. Some of them are already reported and fixed. Window developers are aware of this situation and are eager to improve the browser. Anyone is welcomed to send a message with a feedback.

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