Microsoft Edge – should I switch?

Microsoft Edge Browser

For years now Google Chrome has been the go-to web browser for most people.  It has often been the case that the mere mention of Edge would have you instantly shot down.

No doubt everyone reading this has experimented with browsers other than Google Chrome.  The chances are that experiment was short lived and you soon returned to what you know and like, Chrome.

Microsoft’s browser, Edge, originally launched in 2015 along with Windows 10.  Edge has improved immensely, and the new version is seen as serious competition for the previously immovable Google Chrome.

If you try Microsoft Edge you could be forgiven for thinking that you were using Chrome.  Both browsers are built on the Chromium browsing platform.  This results in a very similar look and feel from both browsers.

Performance and system usage

Both browsers perform similarly, which should be no surprise given their shared platform.  One known downside to Chrome is the CPU and RAM usage.  The new Edge performs on a par with Chrome but with vastly reduced memory and CPU usage.

Security and privacy

Compared to Chrome, the management of privacy on Edge is very simple.  Within the initial setup of the browser you see three options to choose from.  Each option tells you exactly what it does and any impact it may have on your browsing.  Both browsers allow a good level of permission granularity, but Edge makes them clearer to the user.

Extensions

In this new Chromium-based version of Edge, any extension from Chrome will work. Previously Edge users were limited to what was available from the Microsoft store.  This is a big step forward for Edge and something that may previously have stopped users from switching.  It is however not without its faults, and many still find it a lot easier to navigate their extensions within Chrome.

Platform availability

Chrome has been at the top of the game for a number of years.  As such it supports a vast number of platforms including iOS, Windows, macOS, Chrome OS and Linux.  This new version of Edge is still in its infancy and as such offers less platform support currently.  Linux and Chrome OS are not currently supported so those users must remain on Chrome……for now.

One other point of note when discussing Chrome and Edge is their default search engines.  Most of us as a default, seem almost pre-programmed to use Google.  This is not an issue for Chrome users with this being the built-in search engine.  With Edge however, if you wish to search, the default search engine is Bing.  We can all agree “Bing it” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “Google it”.

So, should I switch?

Whether the switch is for you, only you can decide, but Edge does now at least pose the question.  That million-dollar question is entirely down to personal preference.  The two browsers are very similar, but Edge has improved a lot in recent releases.  If this is making you wonder whether to switch, why not give it a go, you can always switch back?

The real takeaway here is not necessarily should you switch.  The point is that in this new version of Edge, Chrome finally has a true worthy competitor that might just take the crown.

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