Microsoft Edge announced a bunch of amazing new features this week as it increases the browser wars to beat Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge is now ranked second in the browser market after Google Chrome, but it still has a long way to go to reach its competitor’s 70% share. Not to be put off by Chrome’s dominance, Microsoft Edge continues to make new moves in the browser, as evidenced by the feature set announced this week.
This feature has yet to be confirmed, but one of Edge’s long-awaited features is the Vertical Tabs, which were originally announced in March and are set to launch any minute now. This allows you to easily find and manage multiple open tabs at once.
Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed that a host of new features will be coming to the developer channel as part of version 86.0.594.2. As part of the update, Edge added the ability to install themes from Google’s web store.
— Aggiornamenti Lumia (@ALumia_Italia) August 3, 2020
Among some of the smaller changes, Microsoft has also added a tag to that that will allow the Backspace key to cycle through a webpage again (or forward it when combined with Shift); Option in Settings to turn off suggestions from history and favorites when searching in the address bar; Website Permissions for Virtual and Augmented Reality; A link between the Password Settings page and the Password Monitor Settings page; And a management policy for saving cookies when Microsoft Edge is closed.
New features in the Edge Beta Channel
Microsoft has also confirmed new features in the Edge Beta channel, including local syncing of favorites and settings. This allows you to sync browser preferences and settings between Active Directory profiles within your own environment without the need for cloud sync. The feature is in addition to the PDF Highlighter, the collections sync with OneNote and Storage Access API. Other recent additions include privacy controls, performance improvements in groups, and the Read Aloud feature in PDFs.
I reported last week that Edge 84 has added the ability to manage notifications from websites – a real winner for preventing those annoying pop-ups from ruining your browsing experience.
Edge and Chrome compete head-to-head
Many people are concerned about Google’s privacy and security practices, and even though Chrome has been busy adding new security and privacy features, they want a safer alternative. Like other browsers including Brave, Edge relies on the same Chromium engine as Chrome, which means you can access a lot of similar features.
I’ve been using Edge for a while, and I love it as an alternative browser. Its security is very good – Edge came first in a recent study – but its privacy could be improved. A previous report found that Edge sends device IDs and web browsing pages to back-end servers.
Microsoft also deals with Edge by providing the browser for all Windows users. Meanwhile, Microsoft angered some people when it announced that you cannot uninstall Edge. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make your own decision. Sure, there are other options, but Edge is definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a workable Chrome alternative.