Even though I don’t have Windows as my main operating system because I use Linux for software development, I appreciate the features provided by Microsoft lately. Microsoft started using Blink a while back and has enhanced its browsers with cool features. With all the common features included in the Blink browser engines, to me, Edge has become like Chrome++ in the sense that it has all the features I need from Chrome and more. The following is a short list of why I am using Edge over Chrome and Firefox recently.
Within the same window, I can have two pages running which makes it easier for me to consult references or even keep a chat open while writing. This might sound trivial but I just remove the need for having another extra window open using a lot of resources from the computer. In addition, it improves my productivity because I can have a website open while performing a heuristic evaluation and typing on the other side of the screen.
Copilot with Bing Chat is a great addition to the browser. There are instances where I need to find a definition, make a summary of an article or even ask a question. Copilot is right there and even though I don’t use it for writing my articles or feedback to UX designers, it is useful to have it. Copilot is like a second set of eyes similar to pair programming which makes me more productive.
This is the feature that made me jump into the Edge bandwagon. I like to read a lot but with age, my eyesight is not the same. Also, as I need to read in another language other than my mother tongue, it is tiresome. Thus, I use the Read Aloud feature included in the browser. This feature is only available for the Windows platform but it is very useful for reading long text. The reason I like it is the natural voices don’t sound robotic at all. The feature works well with PDF files as well. So, I just sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Developers and designers that are used to shortcuts and using commands for their productivity will appreciate that by pressing Ctrl + Q, they can open a command palette with a lot of options and actions to perform on the browser.
As I mentioned above, I provide feedback to designers and I need to take screenshots. Consequently, I wanted an option for taking screenshots without having to install plugins that affect the performance of the page or take a lot of resources. As Edge has it natively, it is something that I don’t need to look for as I have the feature available. I know that other browsers have this feature, but it is usually more difficult to find and doesn’t offer the same features compared to Edge.
In conclusion, when Microsoft migrated to Blink, I was skeptical about the evolution of the browser. I thought that it would be another clone with no innovation. Nevertheless, Edge has proven me to be wrong because they have added features missing in other browsers. Moreover, they have forced other browser vendors to innovate and redesign like Chrome is doing now after a long time with the same look & feel. So, when I have to use Windows, Edge is my go-to web browser.