Let’s just get this out of the way. Microsoft cannot make a browser that satisfies everyone. If you remember a few months ago, I wrote about how the excitement around IE’s demise at the hands of a brand new browser was losing its appeal to me. At that time a look at the touted new features and work Microsoft had put into IE over the last few years left me feeling ‘meh’ about Edge.
Windows 10 has been out for a little over a month now and as promised, Edge is front and center. Technically it does what a browser is supposed to do – show you a webpage. Its rendering feels snappy and its minimal interface falls in line with what other browsers are doing. Actually trying to use it however seems like it is a very 1.0 release to me. Refinements found in more mature browsers are missing, and in some ways it actually falls short when compared to IE.
Let’s start with my biggest annoyance. As a web developer, I often times have to copy/paste part of the address for a task. To do this, I simply put my cursor where I want to start, and click. If I needed “/web-development-portfolio” below, I’d put my cursor at the ‘/’
So, what happens when I do that? Edge suddenly fills in a lot more of the URL and my cursor isn’t where I intended. The start of the highlight below shows where my cursor was after the click.
Next, I rely on “Home” to get me back to some starting pages I need often through the day. See the address bar image above? Do you see a home icon? Nope, it’s not there by default. Granted, you can turn it on under the hidden ‘Advanced Settings’ but it’s pretty well buried for people like my dad so I’ll get the tech support phone call when he finally moves to 10. Ok, so it’s turned on – you would expect it to take you back to the page or group of pages define in the “Open with” settings, right? Wrong, you get a single URL option that is different from what you see when you first open the browser.
Speaking of the Open With setting, which defines what you see when you start Edge, what a cheap ploy by Microsoft to get traffic to their online properties. MSN and Bing both get top billing for the ‘specific page or pages’ option with a sort of cryptic “Custom” option that allows you to enter a URL 1 at a time for multiple tabs. I know this labeling of “Custom” will be another phone call from Dad.
Finally, remember Cortana – Microsoft’s digital personal assistant? As I mentioned last time, it felt like Microsoft knew they had a hit, so they decided to put her into every nook and cranny if it made sense or not. To find her, you highlight text on a page, right click and choose “Ask Cortana” Below shows her response to my selection of “CMS” on a certain web development company’s website. “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services? “Food and Drug Administration”? Thanks, Cortana.
Why isn’t the fact that I’m on TKG.com, which Bing knows as a web-development website, taken into consideration for Cortana’s response? I would expect then to see information about “Content Management Systems” which would be helpful in the context of the site I’m currently on.
I tried, really I did, for a week or so to make Edge my default browser. In the end it just has too many rough edges and no compelling reasons to stick to it. For now it’s back to the dynamic duo of Google Chrome and Internet Explorer as my browsers of choice.