Living on the (Microsoft) Edge

  • 3 min read

As a developer, I use a combination of tools for writing code. I have never been a fan of Google’s Chrome browser but the developer tools in it is one of the best. Only Firefox’s dev tools can compare. For over 10 years, I’ve been using the Opera browser for most of my browsing needs and when they switched to the Chromium engine, I was thrilled.

edge_newtab

Come December 2018, Microsoft announced that they’d be switching their Edge browser over to a Chromium base and that news excited me extremely. I am a huge fan of Microsoft and their technology but hated the current version of Edge which always felt sub par to what was available so I never used it. When they released their version of Edge on Android, I was amazed at how fast and beautiful it was so I switched to it immediately. It is now my browser of choice on mobile.

About a week ago, a leaked build of Chromium Edge was made available and I installed it immediately and was not disappointed. I have been using it every day since but that changes today.

Today, Microsoft officially unveiled their new version of Edge to the world. There are three developer channels which mirror that of Chrome.

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I am using the Canary build as I like living on the edge of technology (pun unintended). So far, the experience has been very smooth. There are many missing features but of course, these will be added as they release new builds over time. The browser connects to Microsoft services instead of Google’s, so for me, this is an additional plus. Below are some key things that made me switch to this new version of Edge:

  • It is based on Chromium
  • It has Chrome’s first class developer tools
  • Microsoft will actively help bring new features to and contribute their expertise to the Chromium project
  • It is beautiful, and features the Bing wallpaper of the day by default (corny I know)
  • It runs all of Chrome’s extensions (you can install them from the Chrome web store)
  • It is backed by Microsoft, they’re crazy about security and their tools are loved by enterprise
  • It is promised to be less of a resource hog unlike Google Chrome
  • It will play well with Edge for Android
  • It is cross platform with plans for a Windows 7, 8, macOS release (yes… even macOS)
  • It will import existing settings from Chrome for users who may want to migrate.

While everyone has their own choices when it comes to the tools they use, this browser will now become my daily driver and will be recommended to my friends and family when a stable release is ready.

Download the new versions of Edge here.