Edge Browser Gets New Features, Based on Chrome

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has unveiled a range of new features for its Edge browser. They include vertically arranged tabs, enhanced cut and paste, and warnings of potential password breaches.

Edge has been somewhat light on new features recently as Microsoft has been concentrating on major behind-the-scenes changes. The browser used to run on Microsoft's own code but is now based on Chromium, the same open source code behind Google's Chrome.

Microsoft hopes that will tempt over some Chrome users who should be able to use many of their existing browser extension tools in Edge. However, it's also adding some built-in features.

The vertical tabs option is simple enough: the list of open tabs goes down the left-hand side of the screen rather than across the top. The theory is that people who often have a lot of tabs open at one will find it easier to do so while still being able to easily read what each one is.

Cut And Paste Gets Smoother

Edge will also be getting a feature called "Collections" that's been in the works for a while. In simple terms it's a way to gather together multiple web pages, text documents and images on a similar subject. It's designed to be more manageable than trying to keep track of a list of bookmarked sites.

Another feature called Smart Copy makes it easier to cut and paste from a web page into a Microsoft Word document without the formatting getting screwed up.

Password Breach Alerts

Finally, there will be a couple of features which are new to Edge but will be familiar to users of other browsers. Immersive Reader mode will strip out complex formatting on a page and show it as a clean set of text and images, a little like the layout of a book. (Source: techradar.com)

Meanwhile, Password Monitor will check any saved passwords against known lists of leaked login credentials. That could warn users not only of a specific breach at the site they are visiting, but also if they've reused details from another site that's been breached.

The reasoning here is that hackers who get hold of stolen credentials from one site will often try the same details to login to accounts on other popular sites. (Source: sophos.com)

What's Your Opinion?

Do any of these features appeal to you? Have you already tried Edge? Is it too late for Microsoft or anyone else to try to capture browser market share?

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (8 votes)

Comments

stekcapofni's picture

Microsoft needs to concede that they can't compete against Google and Mozilla when it comes to browsers. In my mind Microsoft is wasting resources on browser development.

Microsoft needs to focus on their OS and data server products or they will be having to play second fiddle to Google on OS and Data platforms as well.

I like Microsoft. I have made my living over the last 4 decades developing with Microsoft products. And I am still clinging to my Windows Phone.

But when it comes to browsers, personally I still prefer Firefox over Chrome and certainly over IE and Edge.
As a developer it is always a pain to have to program around the quirks in IE and Edge.

I have always said that when the industry gathers and everybody agrees to industry standards, and Microsoft gets back to their office they seem to say, "We agree to the industry standard. But here is OUR standard." That attitude is partly why their browser was never able to compete.

Also, I think resistance to a Microsoft browser began when Microsoft tried (and failed in court) to claim that their browser was such an integral part of their Windows OS that allowing users to remove the browser from their computers would render the OS useless. That argument was proven to be false after the court ordered Microsoft to separate IE from the OS. Microsoft was able to quickly unlink the browser from the OS. The court saw correctly that a browser is simply an app. Microsoft was trying to force Windows users to use the IE browser exclusively.

Apple users might be happy with Apple's iron-fisted policies, but the typical Windows PC user has a much stronger sense of independence. We don't like being dictated to.

</soapbox>

ehowland's picture

I do not regularly use Edge, and just opened mine to look and edge will now not work at all. (this may be something funky with this machine (worked fine on another PC of mine). As I don't use Edge I do not really care.

Machine one says "Microsoft Edge 44.18362.449.4 Microsoft Edge HTML 18.18393 copyright 2019"

This is on my primary Win10Pro 1909 build .657 (18363.657).

I tried on another Win10Pro machine (I have several) it ran fine (same version of edge). That PC is Win10pro 1909 build .720

Is this tied to a future build?

I normally set "defer" (advanced options) to 365 (max) for feature builds and 14 (max 30) for "quality" updates (I say that term loosely).

I lowered it to 365/0 on machine 2, and did manual check for updates (nothing found) still old version of Edge.

jamies's picture

Microsoft have, it would seem made EDGE to be a necessary part of windows - starting it in background for search and other parts of the OS
So - having stated for IE, and were shown to be misleading the public in that it was not needed, it seems that they have made EDGE a facility that is needed within Windows.

Now, I would have moved over from IE to EDGE - except that EDGE does not do saves of web pages with animated GIF's, has problems saving web pages as Print to PDF - saved images not animated, and seem to have sizes reduced, text that is folded on the screen seems to sometimes not be folded within the printing page.
Print to PDF does not always show the options for content control, and margins etc. and there seems to be no way to set the required options as a default.

and .. there are all the SaveAs .mht pages I have that EDGE does not want to show me.
so I need to keep IE in order to get at the plethora of entries I have saved for information and as "This is what you published way back on" evidence.

So - Does not matter how many goodies MS add to EDGE - until it (microsoft) deals with the problems in it (EDGE) there will still be a need for other browsers.

As I have repeatedly requested of Microsoft -

If you (Microsoft) want to capture my usage of their browser - first they need to

FIX the GLITCHES

And stop making me feel I need a 4K display to have the needed content shown on the screen interspersed between the additional spacing being introduced into all the Office and other facilities - Yes _ can set the resolution to the native level of a HD level screen but that still does not allow the appropriate data to be on the screen and a magnifying glass to read the text spread out on a screen that is small enough not to engender neck strain, and shoulder muscle strain from carrying the device around, or a set of special distance reading optics for a have a higher resolution on a screen mounted on the further wall of a room.

Maybe also specify that the standard development system for Microsoft staff will be 2GB RAM a 4 core CPU and a 15.6" 1920 x 1080 resolution screen.
If the software won't run on that level of hardware then - it should be rewritten to do so.

If a user wants to be a power-user running multiple apps and browser windows - then they can pay the extra to get a better system that is capable of that.

But a home-user should be able to run office apps a browser session and an online streaming session on a system as above with 32GB of storage.

Also please fix Onedrive so the home version GUI is as good as the business version.
- OK without the teamwork and major business facilities, but so that as a Home user.
I can rely on its operation
I can see the complete list names of files in a list - not just the ones the EDGE browser noticed as I paged up or down.
I can see a list of what uploads failed
I do not get uploads failing due to lack of access authority when the rest of the drag~n~drop set were COPIED - Note COPIED not MOVED to the Onedrive store.
Add a Quota facility so when sharing update authority to a folder of project files on a storage allocation, the permission does not allow ALL the space of the storage allocation to be used.

kitekrazy's picture

They seem to cater to phones. I still use Firefox because of the menus. IE would be my second choice.

jamies's picture

Some further thoughts about browser use within Windows.

I don't know about others use of browsers - I don't collect their usage details, but would assume:
A browser is used to search for data to be displayed - weather, video, data, and social interaction such as forums Skype etc.
A browser is required to get fixes from MS and other software suppliers
a browser is used to get software that the user wants to install.

So why is all browser interaction not done within an effective sandbox facility -
OK I have the Pro version of Windows, but not the 16GB RAM to run a virtual environment

However - the simple question that Microsoft should answer for all windows users -

Why is all browsing by all MS browsers running in any version of windows not run in an adequately secure sandbox

Especially considering the frequent declaration that Microsoft seriously consider users security - Yes - I remember hearing that well before XP was released, let alone taken out of support and $millions spent removing useful entries about XP from all MS documentation and associated sites.

So - connections to the web should be within a sandbox, with a associated folders for any data the user accepts as a download.
Those to be subfolders of a system managed download folder.
#1 for OS authorised fixes - specifically of those to be applies as part of the system security processes - malware profile etc.
#2 for OS level MS fixes and other similar level files from MS.
#3 for application level software and updates
#4 for application and similar level updates
#5 for interactive session control and webpage files
etc.

The OS interaction including the checking of data from the browser being posted to the various download folders being sourced from 'authorised' sites
as in the browser requests the OS to get file "...." from site "..." and put the file into the folder after checking by the Anti-malware processes the user has specified for downloads.
With 'authorised sites list being maintained through an admin level GUI
OS updates having to have an appropriate set of checksum values that were to be obtained from an authorised MS site.

The OS should ensure that downloaded data is not placed in the higher level download folders ones without a similar specific authorisation for files from that source.
And cannot be executed or used as sets of installable files without a similar authorisation.

Yes - a user could download malware to a lower level of the secure downloads folders and then run it themselves -
BUT the OS should ensure that downloaded data is not moved from the lower level downloads folders without a specific - this time admin level authorisation.

That should make it impossible for malware to be inadvertently installed on a system without a users direct intervention.
My concerns are that the x at the top righthand of a window is not a kill the task instruction to the Windows instance, but a request to Windows to tell the process that the User does not want to continue with the task -

sort of like asking a gang member to stop the gang boss from bullying you.

That being because the designer of a window can set the entire window to be a "hot-spot" and any 'notification' or request to go away to initiate a Download and install "that" process.

So any 'Window' or pop-up can be a process for the installation of malware
(including the Microsoft distributed ones that the Chat staff tell users are malware and can be removed for an annual fee of £99)

Yes - those "Your system needs updates" messages where you have also been locked out of keyboard input mouse selection on any other parts of the screen except the [Install now] selection.

So - Microsoft - as a start point for looking to have users NOT use 3rd party browsers how about actually setting up a windows browser facility that is actually secure.
Also - it would be nice to be able to see, identify and manage cookies such that I, as a user, automatically get a sandbox environment but can specifically (at the time of setting up a session to an organisation such as a bank (or Microsoft) get a list of cookies that session installed, their associated organisation - advertising location checking etc.) and can specifically authorise just those I want to allow on my WINDOWS system.

Yes - I want 2 factor authorisation, specific activities (such as new payee, or post a comment) only allowed from the system 'registered' for those activities.
What I don't want is to have links installed to have Facebook and Google (and Microsoft) know every contact I make, when I make it, and how long I have it open, and where I was when I made it.

buzzallnight's picture

and put EVERY employee they have on saving the lousy, buggy, flawed operating system they have.
They honestly try to sell the fact that you need constant fixes to their software as added value!
If M$ was on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg they would be bragging about the
new daisies they painted on the back of the deck chairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FIX THE GD OPERATING SYSTEM so it doesn't need patches ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!