Today is a great time to be a web developer. All web browsers are embracing web standards and are implementing new features rapidly. It looks like in the near future we’re probably are not going to worry about pulling our hair with the idea of supporting an outdated web browser. I see a lot of people labeling Edge as a masked Internet Explorer, which is very wrong. But, instead of complaining about having to support another web browser, we should be thankful that soon Internet Explorer’s mistakes will be in our past.
With 14 million Windows 10 downloads in just the first day, it is safe to assume that Microsoft have learned from their previous mistakes not only from Windows, but Internet Explorer too. Offering free upgrades to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, Microsoft is making our lives easier, because Windows 10 is coming with the new browser by default. This new web browser is as good or almost as good as Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. Here is a list of why I think Microsoft Edge is beneficial for the web development community.
It is Built from Scratch
There are a ton of enterprise applications that are built using property features of the Internet Explorer. This means that the browser has to support applications that are over 10 years old. Edge does not have that backward compatibility needs, which makes the browser lightweight compared to IE. Moreover, the Edge team can concentrate on building something very good and fast without having to worry about breaking old websites and applications.
It is an Evergreen Browser
One of the main problems with IE is that you had to install new versions to keep updated with the latest standards. But, most users kept using the version that was installed by default with their Windows install. Microsoft started updating their browser automatically in 2012. However, the damage was done long ago with 10 years of IE from Windows XP to Windows 7. Now, we know that users will have an evergreen with very fast paced updates from Microsoft when they use Edge. So, users will always have the latest versions.
It is the Default Browser on Windows 10
For the first time, IE is not the default browser with a new install of Windows. This is huge for designers because as I mentioned, Edge is an evergreen browser that will only get better with standards in the future. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry to tell everybody that IE is bad and that they have to install another browser. Think of people with the least computer skills that use only what the computer offers by default including Internet Explorer. Yes, grandma, your client and your non-techie friend will be running a better browser in Windows 10. At the end of the day, means less headaches and calls from them asking for help.
A New Way to Receive Feedback from Clients and Other Developers
Microsoft Edge incorporates what is called a Web Note, which is writing directly on a screenshot of a page. This will be very useful as web designers, content creators, and clients share information and feedback. It is easier to mark something on a page and make a comment directly than giving feedback on a document where people are not sure the points made. The beauty of this is that we don’t have to depend on an paid service to do this for us. It is already installed in Edge; we just need to use it. I just hope in newer versions there are more tools for taking web notes.
As Capable as Any Other Browser
Edge is very fast. You can find benchmarks around the web that compare it with all other browsers, and when it does not beat them, it gets very close. However, there is a big complaint for the lack of plugins or add-ons, which is part of almost everybody’s lives in 2015. Plugins are a must because we use them for developing sites, blocking advertisement, share articles, etc. Thus, Microsoft needs to work on that as soon as possible. The lack of plugins may affect the result of the benchmarks in favor of Edge as well; however, overall it is good and fast browser, that is almost as capable as any other browser out there.