I'm out of the closet!
I have a dirty little secret to share: I like Microsoft Edge. There, I said it. Phew! Nice to finally have that off my chest!
No more embarrassed looks as I surf the web in the airport lounge. No more keeping Google Chrome open in the background so I can quickly switch lest some tech-savvy passerby glances at my screen and chuckles at my "noobishness."
Nope. I’m officially out of the browser closet! I like Edge. I mean, I really like Edge -- as in I prefer it to more mainstream choices, like Chrome. In fact, I find myself using Edge as my primary web browser about 90 percent of the time (at least when I’m browsing on Windows).
The factors that drew me to such a fringe technology choice include:
- Smoother scrolling. This one’s not up for debate. Web pages just scroll more smoothly on my Core i5-based Surface Pro 4 in Edge than they do in Chrome. Ditto for zooming and panning around a web page. In fact, when I do occasionally go back to Chrome -- for example, because I forgot some web site password and it’s stored in Google’s cloud from my closeted days -- I find the transition back to the latter’s scrolling behavior quite jarring. The whole experience just feels awkward and a bit unnatural.
- Better high-DPI rendering. Web pages just look better in Edge. The text is crisp and the images just pop out at you. Combined with the aforementioned smooth scrolling, Edge’s superior rendering makes for a better overall viewing experience. Again, going back go Chrome leaves me pining for that sensation of overall polish that I get from Edge.
- It loads faster. At least on my Surface Pro 4 it does. And it also seems a bit "lighter on its feet" than Chrome. The UI is snappy and I rarely find myself hunting down rogue tabs that are dragging down system performance. Battery life is also much better under Edge.
- Touch-friendly UI. Edge is way easier to use than Chrome when in Windows 10 Tablet Mode. The navigation controls, the bookmarks bar -- everything is easier to connect with in the Edge UI, like I was born to interact with just this sort of layout. I literally dread the times when I have to load Chrome and don’t have my Surface Type Cover near at hand.
- It’s a native UWP app. And I’ve started to like the native UWP user experience. I find myself using more and more such apps whenever possible under Windows 10. Case in point: Torrex Pro, one of the best BitTorrent clients I’ve used on any device. And it integrates smoothly with edge -- I just pin them side-by-side and load up the magnet links. I’ve also grown fond of the native Windows 10 Mail app, and even the Skype "preview" app has come a long way recently. Using these apps, instead of legacy Win32 programs, feels like progress.
- Creator’s Update made it better. It’s faster, smoother, and more stable than ever before. Enough said.
And before you call me a neophyte Windows "hugger", note that I’m an avid Android phone enthusiast (the Google ecosystem being one reason I can’t completely cast off Chrome) and that I was an early adopter -- and fervent promoter -- of Google’s web browser. Yes, I do miss the "right-click-to-search" function, not to mention the inline site search functionality of the Chrome address bar. But for basic, everyday browsing under Windows, I find myself reaching for that little blue "e" icon almost every time.