In a major update to the company’s web browser, Edge, (that comes included in Windows 10), Microsoft has added tons of new features to improve user experience.
The update marks a year of the new Chromium-based version of the browser after it ditched its in-house rendering engine in favour of the one that power’s Google’s Chrome.
The first change and likely one that will please a lot of desktop auteurs are the 24 new themes that come with the update. These include themes based on Microsoft’s lineage with takes on The Halo franchise, Gears franchise, Forza, Sea of Thieves and more. These themes can be applied to the new tabs page while the rest of the browser matches its colour scheme. For the tinkerers among you, Microsoft has also added support for vertical tabs, which are currently in testing.
Microsoft has also changed the browser’s icon to be more rounded and smoother looking. The company calls this “Fluent design” and says that people will see a lot more of it in other products once it begins rolling them out.
To improve performance, Edge now has a feature called sleeping tabs. The browser will now intelligently manage open tabs, reducing the load on active tabs i.e. the tabs which you are currently browsing more by siphoning power away from the inactive ones, reducing sluggishness.
Another feature aimed at security is the new password manager, which functions as a repository for multiple passwords across services and can generate new passwords if you are signing up for a service for the first time or changing your password. The manager will also get other improvements over time such as the ability to see if your password is currently on the list of leaked credentials.
Sidebar search has also been improved with it now available across the browser. Simply highlight a word, right-click on it and press search. The browser will now display a side panel with web results neatly organised, so you won’t have to switch away from your current tab.
History and tab sync is now available worldwide after previously being constricted to a few countries. You can now use one profile to sync up your browser history between devices which means you can now open a tab in Edge PC and the Edge browser on your phone will mirror what you currently have open, making it seamless to switch devices on the fly.
Edge now also aggregates classifieds from across various sources on the web, making it easier to look at job opportunities on the fly. Microsoft has also beefed-up security options by giving users the ability to control which sites use your location data, in addition to monitoring camera and microphone access by sites.
For a more detailed look at these features, head on over to Microsoft’s blog page