Microsoft Edge – living on the Edge

When I upgraded to Windows 10, I had in my mind to retry the Microsoft’s new explorer. I had long stopped using IE and shifted to Chrome as my default browser. MS had been claiming that Edge is a totally new browser, very fast performing etc. However a few days of use of Edge and I seem to be concluding that Microsoft should just stop making the browser and concentrate only on the OS and other applications.

On launching Edge, it opens up in a page called as Start Page, which has tried to do a Google like simple interface. So you get to see a search box titled “Where to Next?” (See image below).

There is a small circle towards the right of the page that seems to be my account picture. It took me a while to figure this out. This could have been a bit bigger to easily understand what this is. After a few seconds, the page loads MSN News and some other items like local Weather, Stocks (if configured in the Stocks app). The page uses the infinite scroll list concept, so as you scroll down, it keeps loading news from different channels and types.

Interestingly the page has no address bar visible by default where you can type a URL directly to visit a site. However you can still do that in the search box. Not highly intuitive, but works. The address bar, however is actually there, just not visible upfront. If you click close to the refresh icon on the top left, the address bar suddenly makes it appearance and now you can type a URL, if you wanted to.

I had a need to download some software from Microsoft site. MS recommends using MS Download manager for downloading the software. First time I tried, it didn’t seem to work. I didn’t see any popup that asked for installation of download manager as well. I then tried to directly visit the Download Manager site and install it. Later when I went back to download the software, I clicked on the download button, but nothing happened. I didn’t see any window popup, no status bar reflecting any downloads. So I ended up clicking the download button 2-3 times. Thinking that it still isn’t working, I then picked up the alternative option of download via browser. This time, I could see a file starting to download and the download tab opened up. Surprisingly, it showed me that 3 earlier downloads were already in progress. These were probably from the earlier clicks that I had done, but I had not seen anything happen. I stopped one of these and then accidentally cleared the list. Now unfortunately I had no way to stop the various downloads. So I ended up downloading the same 1.5 GB file 3 times L.

Another point I noted is that Edge seems to be a bit unresponsive to the click on the right top close button. I have to click multiple times before it responds to it. Even then the behavior seems unpredictable. At times it closes only the active tab and at times it closes all. I tried to search for a setting for this, but didn’t find it.

As for the display of pages, some sites that load and work fine across Chrome and Firefox, seem to have issues with Edge. Not sure what kind of CSS parsing engine MS is using, but this cross browser compatibility issue continues to exist. I didn’t notice anything significantly different in page load times. The gmail still seems to load faster than Hotmail, which is slowed down due to the various advertisements that Hotmail needs to display.

I guess, in short, I didn’t find anything of interest that will push me back to using Edge. So for now, Chrome, it is for me. 


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