Microsoft Edge: What's Cool & What Sucks?

Microsoft's developer conference, Build 2015, heralded the re-branding of Internet Explorer (IE) to "Edge", the Redmond behemoth promptly instructed brand protection company MarkMonitor to register a couple of domain names, including and other related name variations. Microsoft Edge is the result of a back-dated project codenamed Project Spartan, and to serve as default browser for Windows 10, specially optimized for touch and with a host of in-built extras like reading mode.

It is a lightweight browser with a layout engine built around web standards interoperable with the modern web.

Microsoft Edge is a key part of the upcoming Windows 10 operating system, and it's hugely important to the success of the revamped Windows platform. And It was made available as part of Microsoft's Windows 10 Technical Preview for developers' to spin, so here's what we think is cool and what sucks.

What's Cool?

The Edge new look in contrast to Internet Explorer has different sized icons, and the navigation bar is now thicker and has a more uniform selection of buttons that makes it easier for use with touchscreen devices. While the tabs have been moved to a separate row, making the overall layout a bit more logical, now more akin with Chrome and Firefox pattern.

Albeit, reading mode isn't a new concept, but having it in-built is unique with Microsoft Edge (most browsers require an extension to enable the feature), and implementation is equally slick.

Web annotation is another area Edge outwits other browsers, with tap of a button users can take a screenshot onto which they can start drawing, either with a mouse or finger.

The new rendering engine in Microsoft Edge makes it a bit quicker than the latest version of Internet Explorer, although more subtle when it comes to user experience.

What Sucks?

Missing Edge support for the legacy MSHTML engine for backwards compatibility, and therefore does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, but instead uses an extension system.

Offline reading mode and roaming across devices features are also missing in the current release. However, since there are still more features to come, so we keep our fingers crossed.

Overall, we think the experience is blissfully simple and smooth, with the obvious decluttering of bogus Internet Explorer features that made it unpleasant to users.
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