My version of Windows 10 was subjected recently to the Creators Update, whatever that is. Its marvelous effects are entirely invisible to me, which is good. But at the end of the update, I was urged to use a new version of the Microsoft Edge browser. Well, it was more than an urging. The thing popped onto my screen at the end of the update, as if I had ordered it. But I hadn’t, so I closed it.
Curiosity got the better of me, so I did a bit of research and found that the new Edge is supposed to be faster than other browsers. I tried it, and it does seem faster. But I quickly abandoned it and removed it from my taskbar.
What went wrong? Unlike Firefox, which I’m still able to customize to match my browsing preferences, Edge is simple-minded (like the software engineers who designed it):
Extensions are almost non-existent. Of the several Firefox extensions that I use, Edge offers only Adblock Plus.
Some functions that are handled by Firefox extensions (e.g., find in page) must be accessed in Edge by going to a drop-down menu. But the functions must be reactivated every time Edge is re-opened. There’s no session-to-session memory of chosen functions.
One of the great Firefox extensions is Classic Theme Restorer, which enables me to have a menu bar, which is a hell of a lot easier to use than clicking on Edge’s single drop-down menu and searching through it in vain for the functions that I want to perform. Edge’s idea of functionality is to require the user to memorize a long list of keyboard shortcuts.
Classic Theme Restorer also allows me to position tabs just above the image area for web pages, which is where they belong. (Try it, you’ll like it.)
Thanks to Classic Theme Restorer, I am also able to have icons for the following useful functions in my tool bar and menu bar: change zoom, open new window, open last closed tab, show history, open the download list, subscribe to a site’s RSS feed, and adjust Adblock Plus settings. Some of those are extension-based functions that Edge doesn’t offer. Some others are available to masochists who like to memorize and use keyboard shortcuts instead of simply clicking on icons.
Zoom, which Firefox offers in 10-percent increments, is available only in 25-percent increments with Edge. As a result, the type on most Edge pages is either uncomfortably small or uncomfortably large. How wonderful is that?
I could dredge up more examples if I wanted to waste more of my time, but I’ll close with this observation: Edge plays badly with WordPress. Examples:
It’s not possible to copy text from a web page and paste it into WordPress’s visual editor by using the standard right-click operations. How does one paste in Edge? Using a keyboard shortcut, of course.
Worse than that, pasting web-page material into WordPress’s visual editor creates a mess; all kinds of extraneous coding appears and a lot of punctuation (e.g., dashes, quotations marks, apostrophes) is displayed as garbage. It’s possible to paste copied text into the HTML editor, but that results in the loss of embedded links.
To top it off, Edge just can’t keep up with WordPress’s background operations; the visual editor often stalls or goes blank.
Edge is aptly named. It’s at the trailing edge of browser technology. Microsoft strikes (out), again.
2 thoughts on “Microsoft Edge: A Review”
I’ve tried Chrome. It’s a lot better than Edge, but it’s still harder to use than FF. What is it with these software engineers who prefer a slick look to functionality? I don’t want to search all over the place for tabs and functions that I use often, I want them right where I can see them. And keyboard shortcuts are for people who still think MS DOS is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
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