Say goodbye to Microsoft Internet Explorer and hello to Microsoft Edge.
Shown off at the annual Microsoft Build developer conference, the Edge browser will be available for Windows 10 when it is released this summer.
Edge is designed to take on Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, and Mozilla’s Firefox — and to once again make Microsoft the king of Web browsers.
We saw and even used Edge before when it was called Project Spartan, but this is the first time Microsoft has divulged the browser’s official name.
Edge isn’t just some Internet Explorer knockoff. The browser is a completely new piece of software and comes with a host of new features.
In addition to its name, Microsoft also debuted a new tab page for Edge.
Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, said that Internet Explorer’s new tab page, the page you see when you open a new tab in the browser, is opened 1 billion times a day, so Microsoft wanted to help people get the most out of Edge’s new tab page.
When you open a new tab, you’re met with a universal search bar that lets you perform a search using Microsoft’s Bing or enter a Web address. Below that is a list of your most visited websites.
If there is an app for one of your top sites, you see a “Get the app” button that takes you to the Microsoft Store, where you can download it.
Under that is a collection of news stories from various sources, and to the right is a “Featured apps” list for downloading. At the far right of the page is a list of some of your favorite information from Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Google Now.
Like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox, Edge supports browser plug-ins. But rather than making developers create the plug-ins from scratch, Edge will support plug-ins from Chrome and Mozilla with just a few modifications, making it easier for developers to bring their existing extensions over.
We previously talked about some of the more interesting features coming to Edge, such as the ability to annotate webpages by writing directly on them with a stylus, as well as a reader mode that cuts extraneous information from a webpage.
Cortana also works with Edge’s search feature. So if you have an upcoming flight, and you search for your airline, Cortana will automatically pull up your flight information in a separate browser pop-up box.
Edge is a massive departure from Internet Explorer in both form and function, and from what we’ve seen, it’s an extremely promising browser.
As Belfiore said during his presentation,”The E button in the [Windows] task bar … now has a completely different and better meaning than it has for a while.”