Microsoft Edge

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Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge logo.svg
Microsoft Edge on Windows 10, using the light theme (as opposed to the dark theme)
Microsoft Edge on Windows 10, using the light theme (as opposed to the dark theme)
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release July 29, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-07-29)
Stable release(s) [±]
Windows 10 44.17763.1.0 / October 2, 2018; 13 days ago (2018-10-02)[1]
Windows 10 Mobile 40.15254.369 / April 10, 2018; 6 months ago (2018-04-10)
Xbox One 40.15063.0 / March 29, 2017; 18 months ago (2017-03-29)[2]
Preview release(s)
(19H1) 44.18219.1000 with EdgeHTML 18.18219
Operating system iOS, Android, Windows 10, Xbox One System Software
Included with Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One System Software
Engines
License Proprietary software;[5] a component of Windows 10
Website www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/microsoft-edge

Microsoft Edge (codename "Spartan") is a graphical web browser developed by Microsoft and included in Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox One devices, replacing Internet Explorer as the default web browser on all device classes. According to Microsoft, it is designed to be a lightweight web browser with a layout engine built around web standards.[6] Edge includes integration with Cortana, annotation tools, and a reading mode.[7]

Unlike Internet Explorer, Edge does not support ActiveX or Browser Helper Objects. Browser extension support was developed and added in preview builds in March 2016, and released with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2, 2016. Microsoft Edge extensions are distributed via Microsoft Store.

On October 5, 2017, Microsoft announced a preview of Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS.[8] The apps exited the "preview" stage on November 30, 2017.[9]

Features[edit]

Desktop view for Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, and Xbox One consoles, replacing Internet Explorer 11 and Internet Explorer Mobile.[10] Microsoft initially announced that Edge would support the legacy Trident (MSHTML) layout engine for backwards compatibility, but later said that, due to "strong feedback", Edge would use a new engine, while Internet Explorer would continue to provide the legacy engine.[11]

Favorites, reading list, browsing history and downloads are viewed at the Hub,[12] a sidebar providing functionality similar to Internet Explorer’s Downloads manager and Favorites Center.[13]

The browser includes an integrated Adobe Flash Player and a PDF reader. It also supports asm.js.[14]

Edge does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and instead uses an extension system.[3][15][16] Internet Explorer 11 will remain available alongside Edge on Windows 10 for compatibility; it will remain nearly identical to the Windows 8.1 version and not use the Edge engine as was previously announced.[3][10][15]

Edge integrates with Microsoft's online platforms in order to provide voice control, search functionality, and dynamic information related to searches within the address bar. Users can make annotations to web pages that can be stored to and shared with OneDrive,[17] but can't save HTML pages to their own computers. It also integrates with the "Reading List" function and provides a "Reading Mode" that strips unnecessary formatting from pages to improve their legibility.[17]

Preliminary support for browser extensions was added in March 2016, with build 14291; three extensions were initially supported. Microsoft indicated that the delay in allowing extensions and the small number was due to security concerns.[18]

EdgeHTML[edit]

EdgeHTML is a proprietary layout engine developed for Edge. It is a fork of Trident that has removed all legacy code of older versions of Internet Explorer and rewritten the majority of its source code to support web standards and interoperability with other modern browsers.[19][20] EdgeHTML is written in C++.[21] The rendering engine was first released as an experimental option in Internet Explorer 11 as part of the Windows 10 Preview 9926 build.[22]

EdgeHTML is meant to be fully compatible with the WebKit layout engine used by Safari, Chrome and other browsers. Microsoft has stated that "any Edge-WebKit differences are bugs that we’re interested in fixing."[23]

A review of the engine in the beta Windows 10 build by AnandTech found substantial benchmark improvements over Trident; particularly JavaScript engine performance, which had come up to par with that of Google Chrome.[24] Other benchmarks focusing on the performance of the WebGL API found EdgeHTML to perform much better than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.[25]

HTML5 Standards[edit]

Edge originally lacked support for open media standards such as WebM and Opus, but these were later added in Edge 14.14291.[26]

As of October 9, 2018, Edge 17 scored 492/555 on HTML5test, comparable to Firefox 59 which scored 491/555, but lagging behind Chrome 66 which scored 528/555.[27]

Development[edit]

In December 2014, writing for ZDNet, technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was developing a new web browser codenamed "Spartan" for Windows 10. She said that "Spartan" would be treated as a new product separate from Internet Explorer, with Internet Explorer 11 retained alongside it for compatibility.[28]

In early January 2015 The Verge obtained further details surrounding "Spartan" from sources close to Microsoft, including reports that it would replace Internet Explorer on both the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10.[29] Microsoft officially unveiled "Spartan" during a Windows 10-focused keynote on January 21, 2015.[17] It was described as a separate product from Internet Explorer; its final name was not announced.[30]

"Spartan" was first made publicly available as the default browser of Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10049, released on March 30, 2015.[31] The new engine used by "Spartan" was available in Windows 10 builds as part of Internet Explorer 11; Microsoft later announced that Internet Explorer would be deprecated on Windows 10, and would not use the "Spartan" engine.[10][32]

On April 29, 2015, during the Build Conference keynote, it was announced that "Spartan" would officially be known as Microsoft Edge.[33] The browser's logo and branding was designed to maintain continuity with the branding of Internet Explorer.[34] The Project "Spartan" branding was used in versions released after Build 2015. On June 25, Microsoft released version 19.10149 for Windows 10 Mobile which included the new brand. On June 28, version 20.10158 followed for the desktop versions, also including the updated branding. On July 15, Microsoft released version 20.10240 as the final release to Insiders. The same version was rolled out to consumers on July 29.

On August 12, Microsoft started the preview program for the next version of Microsoft Edge. They released version 20.10512 to Mobile-users. 6 days later followed by version 20.10525 for desktop users. The preview received multiple updates. On November 5, 2015, Microsoft released version 25.10586 as the final release for Edge's second public release for desktop users. On November 12, the update was rolled out to both desktop users and Xbox One users as part of the New Xbox Experience Update. On November 18, the update was to Windows 10 Mobile. Finally, on November 19, the update was also made available as part of the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.[citation needed]

On October 5, 2017, Joe Belfiore announced that Microsoft was working on a version of Edge for Android and iOS. A feature-limited beta version for iOS was also made available but the Android version, at the time of the announcement, was not available. According to Mary Jo Foley, these versions are not a full port of Microsoft Edge, but just its look and feel; Edge would not use the EdgeHTML layout engine, but rather the iOS's Webkit and the Android's Blink engine.[35][4]

Release history[edit]

Legend: Old version Older version, still supported Current stable version Latest preview version Future release
Version EdgeHTML version Release date(s) Highlights
Old version, no longer supported: 0.10.10049[36] 12.10049 Desktop: March 30, 2015

Initial release on Windows 10

Old version, no longer supported: 0.11.10051[37] 12.10051 Mobile: April 10, 2015

Initial release on Windows 10 Mobile; adds the following:

Old version, no longer supported: 0.11.10052[38] 12.10052 Mobile: April 21, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 0.11.10061[39] 12.10061 Desktop: April 22, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 0.11.10074[40] 12.10074 Desktop: April 29, 2015
Server: May 4, 2015

Initial release on Windows Server 2016

Old version, no longer supported: 0.11.10080[41] 12.10080 Mobile: May 14, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 13.10122[42] 12.10122 Desktop: May 20, 2015
  • New Tab page
  • InPrivate browsing
  • Pin sites to start
Old version, no longer supported: 15.10130[43] 12.10130 Desktop: May 29, 2015
  • Revamped Settings pane
  • Hubs can now be pinned
  • Set as default PDF reader for Windows 10
  • Full screen support
Old version, no longer supported: 16.10136[44] 12.10136 Mobile: June 16, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 19.10149[45] 12.10149 Mobile: June 25, 2015
  • Rebranded as Microsoft Edge
  • Address bar at the bottom on phones
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10158[46] 12.10158 Desktop: June 29, 2015
  • Optional Home-button
  • Import favorites from other browsers
  • Dark theme
  • Improved hub
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10159[47] 12.10159 Desktop: June 30, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10162[48] 12.10162 Desktop: July 2, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10166[49][50] 12.10166 Desktop: July 9, 2015
Mobile: July 10, 2015
  • Updated about:flags page
  • Localhost loopback is now enabled by default[51]
Older version, yet still supported: 20.10240[52] 12.10240 Desktop: July 15, 2015

First public release

  • Performance improvements[53]
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10525[54] 12.10525 Desktop: August 18, 2015
  • Basic support for Object RTC
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10532[55] 12.10532 Desktop: August 27, 2015
  • Improved render engine with Pointer Lock support, canvas blending modes, asm.js support by default and more
Old version, no longer supported: 20.10536[56] 12.10536 Mobile: September 15, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 21.10547[57] 13.10547 Desktop: September 18, 2015
  • Object RTC API now fully supported[58]
  • EdgeHTML has been updated to version 13
  • Improved tab management
Old version, no longer supported: 21.10549[59] 13.10549 Mobile: October 14, 2015
Old version, no longer supported: 23.10565[60] 13.10565 Desktop: October 12, 2015
  • Tabs can now be previewed by hovering over them
  • Reading list items and favorites are now synced
  • Updated Settings pane
Old version, no longer supported: 25.10572[61] 13.10572 Mobile: October 20, 2015
  • Hub options are now available in the ellipses menu
Old version, no longer supported: 25.10576[62] 13.10576 Desktop: October 29, 2015
  • Media Casting
  • Cortana Integration with PDFs
Old version, no longer supported: 25.10581[63] 13.10581 Mobile: October 29, 2015
Older version, yet still supported: 25.10586[64] 13.10586 Desktop: November 5, 2015
Xbox: November 12, 2015
Mobile: November 18, 2015
Server: November 19, 2015

Second public release and initial release on Xbox One

  • Stability improvements
Old version, no longer supported: 25.11082[65] 13.11082 Desktop: December 16, 2015

Initial release on Windows Mixed Reality

  • Experimental support for VP9
Old version, no longer supported: 27.11099[66] 13.11099 Desktop: January 13, 2016
  • Initial foundation work for EdgeHTML 14
Old version, no longer supported: 28.11102[67] 13.11102 Desktop: January 21, 2016
  • Context menu for navigation buttons
Old version, no longer supported: 28.14251[68] 13.14251 Desktop: January 27, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 28.14257[69] 13.14257 Desktop: February 3, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 31.14267[70] 14.14267 Desktop: February 18, 2016
Mobile: February 19, 2016
  • Improved favorites management
  • Improved download management
  • EdgeHTML has been updated to version 14
  • New experimental flags
Old version, no longer supported: 31.14271[71] 14.14271 Desktop: February 24, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 31.14279[72] 14.14279 Desktop: March 4, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 31.14283[73] 14.14283 Mobile: March 10, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 34.14291[74] 14.14291 Desktop: March 17, 2016
Mobile: March 17, 2016
  • Preliminary extension support added
  • Pinned tab support added
  • Ability to copy and paste links in Microsoft Edge added
  • Preview support for VP9 video format added
Old version, no longer supported: 34.14295[75] 14.14295 Desktop: March 25, 2016
Mobile: March 25, 2016
  • Fixed an issue where Edge would refresh the tab if you pressed caps lock in a password field
Old version, no longer supported: 34.14300 14.14300 Server: April 27, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 37.14316[76] 14.14316 Desktop: April 6, 2016
  • Download reminders
  • Default save locations can be changed
  • Favorite Tree View improvements
  • New JavaScript features
  • Experimental JavaScript ES6 Regex symbols support
  • New Web Platform features
Old version, no longer supported: 37.14322 14.14322 Mobile: April 14, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 37.14327 14.14327 Mobile: April 20, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 37.14328 14.14328 Desktop: April 22, 2016
Mobile: April 22, 2016
  • Improved F12 developer tools
  • Experimental support for Beacon
  • Improved accessibility
Old version, no longer supported: 37.14332 14.14332 Desktop: April 26, 2016
Mobile: April 26, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 38.14342 14.14342 Desktop: May 10, 2016
  • Swipe gestures to navigate back and forward
  • Support for Beacon, Web Notifications and Fetch API
Old version, no longer supported: 38.14352 14.14352 Desktop: May 31, 2016
Older version, yet still supported: 38.14393 14.14393 Desktop: August 2, 2016
Mobile: August 16, 2016

Third public release

  • Anniversary Edition
  • Official support for browser extensions
  • WOFF 2 fonts
  • Support for Color Fonts formats (sbix, OpenType-SVG, COLR/CPAL, CBDT/CBLC)
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14901[77] 14.14901 Desktop: August 11, 2016
  • Introduced about:flags settings for several features under development
  • Added CTRL + O keyboard shortcut to set focus to the address bar
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14905[78] 14.14905 Desktop: August 17, 2016
Mobile: August 17, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14915[79] 14.14915 Desktop: August 31, 2016
Mobile: August 31, 2016
  • Partial implementation of Webkit-Text-Stroke and CSS outline-offset
  • Partial support for WebRTC 1.0 (off by default; enable via about:flags)
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14926[80] 14.14926 Desktop: September 14, 2016
Mobile: September 14, 2016
  • Ability to use Snooze to put a website in a Cortana Reminder to make it show up in the Action Center
  • Ability to import and export favorites from and to a file
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14931[81] 14.14931 Desktop: September 21, 2016
  • Improved ES6 Modules debugging in F12 Developer Tools
  • H.264/AVC became enabled by default for RTC
  • Support for CSS Custom Properties and CSP 2.0 (in development)
  • Improved support for WebRTC 1.0 and Service Workers (in development, behind flags)
  • General performance improvements
  • Changes to the network logic for Fetch algorithms in preparation for Service Worker Fetch interception (behind flags)
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14936[82] 14.14936 Desktop: September 28, 2016
Mobile: September 28, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14942[83] 15.14942 Desktop: October 7, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14946[84] 15.14946 Desktop: October 13, 2016
Mobile: October 13, 2016
  • Added support for the EPUB file format
  • The "Snooze" feature has been removed
  • Icons of pages in the hub became larger
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14951[85] 15.14951 Desktop: October 19, 2016
Mobile: October 19, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14955[86] 15.14955 Desktop: October 25, 2016
Mobile: October 25, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14959[87] 15.14959 Desktop: November 3, 2016
Mobile: November 3, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14965[88] 15.14965 Desktop: November 9, 2016
Mobile: November 9, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14971[89] 15.14971 Desktop: November 17, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14977[90] 15.14977 Mobile: December 1, 2016
Old version, no longer supported: 39.14986[91] 15.14986 Desktop: December 14, 2016
  • Console filter settings will persist for buttons and context menu
  • Improved ES6 Modules debugging experience
  • Support for the Brotli compressed data format (enabled by default) as an HTTP content-encoding method
  • Updated the MS-prefixed FIDO 2.0 implementation to match the latest W3C Web Authentication specification
  • Partial support for CSS Custom Properties (aka CSS Variables)
  • Preliminary support for the IntersectionObserver API
  • Async/await is enabled by default
  • DOM performance improvements
Older version, yet still supported: 40.15063[92][93] 15.15063 Desktop: April 11, 2017

Fourth public release

  • Creators Update
  • Advanced Tab Management
  • Added support for EPUB/PDF read aloud
Older version, yet still supported: 41.16299.15[94][95] 16.16299 Desktop: September 26, 2017
Current stable version: 42.17134[96][97] 17.17134 Desktop: April 30, 2018

Performance[edit]

Early benchmarks of the EdgeHTML engine—included in the first beta release of Edge in Windows 10[98] Build 10049—had drastically better JavaScript performance than Trident 7 in Internet Explorer 11, with similar performance to Google Chrome 41 and Mozilla Firefox 37. In the SunSpider benchmark, Edge performed faster than other browsers,[99] while in other benchmarks it operated slower than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.[100]

Later benchmarks conducted with the version included in 10122 showed significant performance improvement compared to both IE11 and Edge back in 10049. According to Microsoft's benchmark result, this iteration of Edge performed better than both Chrome and Firefox in Google's Octane 2.0 and Apple's Jetstream benchmark.[101]

In July 2015, Edge scored 377 out of 555 points on the HTML5test. Chrome 44 and Firefox 42 scored 479 and 434 respectively, while Internet Explorer 11 scored 312.[102]

In August 2015, Microsoft released Windows 10 Build 10532 to insiders, which included Edge 21.10532.0. This beta version scored 445 out of 555 points on the HTML5test.[103]

With the release of Windows 10 Build 14390 to insiders in July 2016, the HTML5test score of the browser's development version was 460 out of 555 points. Chrome 51 scored 497, Firefox 47 scored 456, and Safari 9.1 scored 370.[citation needed]

Power efficiency[edit]

In June 2016, Microsoft published benchmark results to prove superior power efficiency of Edge in comparison to all other major web browsers.[104] Opera questioned the accuracy and provided their own test results where Opera came out on top.[105] Independent testing by PC World confirmed Microsoft's results.[106] However, tests conducted by Linus Sebastian contradicted Microsoft's results, instead showing that Chrome has the best battery performance.[107]

Reception[edit]

In an August 2015 review of Windows 10 by Dan Grabham of TechRadar, Microsoft Edge was praised for its performance, despite not being in a feature-complete state at launch.[108] Andrew Cunningham of Ars Technica praised the browser for being "tremendously promising", and "a much better browser than Internet Explorer ever was", but criticized it for its lack of functionality on launch.[109] Thom Holwerda of OSNews criticized Edge in August 2015 for its hidden URL bar, lack of user friendliness, poor design and a tab system that is "so utterly broken it should never have shipped in a final release". He described the browser's implemented features as "some sort of cosmic joke", saying that "infuriating doesn't even begin to describe it".[110]

Data from August 2015, a few weeks after release, showed that user uptake of Edge was low, with only 2% of overall computer users using the new browser. Among Windows 10 users usage peaked at 20% and then dropped to 14% through August 2015.[111]

In October 2015 a security researcher published a report outlining a bug in Edge's "InPrivate" mode, causing data related to visited sites to still be cached in the user's profile directory, theoretically making it possible for others to determine sites visited. The bug gained mainstream attention in early February 2016,[112] and was fixed with a cumulative update on February 9.[113]

Market share[edit]

Desktop/laptop browser statistics
Google Chrome
63.98%
Mozilla Firefox
13.6%
Internet Explorer
8.21%
Safari
5.46%
Microsoft Edge
4.3%
Others
4.46%
Desktop web browser market share according to StatCounter for September 2017.[114]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]