Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system features Edge, its first brand new web browser in almost 20 years. Originally codenamed ‘Project Spartan’, Edge was built from the ground up, using a completely different engine to that of the company’s older browser, Internet Explorer (IE).
Edge is designed to be faster, easier to use and more convenient than its predecessor, according to Microsoft. This isn’t the end of Internet Explorer, however, which will continue to be supported. If you’ve already upgraded to Windows 10 you’ve no doubt noticed it on your desktop and in amongst your apps. Before you immediately jump ship to Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome take a look over these key features and give Edge a go – you might end up liking it.
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Windows 10 Edge browser: Key features
Switch to Reading mode
If you hate adverts and other on-screen distractions, click the Reading View icon on the toolbar to switch to a clutter-free, minimalist layout. You can change the font and layout style in Edge’s settings. Click the icon again to return to normal browsing.
Make notes on the web
Edge lets you annotate web pages if you see something you want to remember or share with others. Click the Web Note icon and a toolbar appears, letting you select pen, highlighter, eraser and typed notes. You can use a mouse or touchscreen.
Share or save for later
You can save web content to read later, offline. Click the Favourites icon and select Reading list, then click Add to save a snapshot of the page. You can then read the page when offline by clicking the Hub icon and selecting it from your Reading list.
Ask Cortana ‘anything’
Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-controlled search tool is built into Edge, lets you search for information within a web page. Highlight a person’s name, for example, then right-click it and select Ask Cortana to open a side panel pulled from Wikipedia and Bing.
UPDATE: Support for extensions added
It may not sound like a big deal, but a recent preview build of Edge has enabled support for extensions for the first time. For many the thought of using Chrome or Firefox without extensions tacked on is impossible – things like Evernote and LastPass become integral to your everyday browsing experience.
There aren’t many extensions available for Edge as yet (in fact they still only number in the double-digit range) but more will arrive with time. The main thing to consider is that a fundamental feature missing at launch has been added – hopefully Microsoft will continue to make more improvements in the future.
The feature is currently only available for those who have volunteered for testing and have downloaded this latest preview build, but its general release is imminent.