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Hands-on with the new Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium

Late last year, Microsoft told the world that its browser Edge would switch to the Chromium engine. Until now, this browser was locked behind the walls of Redmond, but I managed to get my hands on the parts before the release.

Upfront, that feels a lot like Chrome and Microsoft Polish about it. But not many Microsoft policies, as they contain no fluid elements, but they can be integrated into your Microsoft account. In addition, there's an on-boarding experience that lets you import your Chrome settings and other browser settings and configurations.

As mentioned earlier, extensions are supported in both the Microsoft Store and the Chrome Store. With a simple toggle switch, you can install native edge extensions in Edge without many problems. Grammarly worked fine for me, but I'm having trouble executing 1Password correctly.

When it comes to features, Edge has the only critical point that kept me crawling to Chrome again and again. If you're on a web page, you can easily turn it into an app by clicking on the three dots in the top right and then on the install app. This is huge because it lets me turn Google Calendar, Tweetdeck, and a few other pages into applications on my desktop that make my workflow much easier.

There is a dark browser mode for the curious

While doing a very simple and non-scientific test, I opened the classic Edge, the new Edge and Chrome and navigated to TweetDeck – one Website that is usually considered very stressful. After sitting for five minutes after rebooting, you can see the results below (new Edge is in the middle).

As you might expect, the browser is fast and works quite well. Even if you were a fan of the classic "Edge", you'll notice a number of performance improvements with this new browser. The fact that extensions work, scrolling is smooth, and you have tab customization options, I can seriously see when I step away from Google products.

Tagged with Edge, Microsoft

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