Microsoft Edge 89 arrives with improved browser performance, vertical tabs, and more

The original Microsoft Edge was often described as being 'half-baked' with features commonly found in other browsers either poorly implemented or missing entirely.

With the switch to Chromium, Microsoft had a chance to start over, and it hasn’t wasted the opportunity. The new Edge is a massive improvement over its predecessor and the software giant isn’t resting on its laurels either, striving to add new features on a regular basis. Case in point being Microsoft Edge 89.

SEE ALSO: Future versions of Google Chrome set to arrive much quicker

With this release, Microsoft has taken action to improve browser performance, introducing a feature called Startup Boost to help Edge launch much faster.

The new feature works by "running a set of core Microsoft Edge processes in the background without adding additional resources when Microsoft Edge browser windows are open".

According to the company’s own research, improvement to startup times when Startup Boost is enabled range from 29 percent to 41 percent.

Sleeping tabs further help performance, by freeing up system resources, and Microsoft says this increases battery life "as a sleeping tab uses 26 percent less CPU on average compared to a non-sleeping tab". It also reduces memory usage by 16 percent on average, although your mileage may vary.

Those are not the only changes to the new browser version -- vertical tabs are now generally available too. Although this isn’t a feature that's unique to Edge (other browsers have offered them for a while now), it’s a welcome addition, and makes better use of browser space and helps users find and switch to open tabs that much quicker.

Microsoft’s Michele McDanel explains:

Managing tabs has been a persistent pain point for our users. One developer told us about his experiences with managing 200 open tabs, describing it as 'mental gymnastics'. With that much open on the screen, the individual tab titles become lost, and favicons are the only thing users can see. To create more space, some users resorted to opening multiple browser windows.

Most websites follow a conventional grid that leaves plenty of whitespace on either end of the page. As we began working with our users, we realized that this vertical real estate could be a better location for tabs, rather than the traditional horizontal list of tabs at the top. While vertical tabs may not be an entirely new concept, we saw an opportunity to improve the browser experience and tested several prototypes with our users.

Microsoft is in the process of rolling out Edge 89, so be patient and it should arrive shortly.

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