Microsoft’s Edge browser started life as a Microsoft eco-system only browser running on Xbox, Windows 10 and Windows 10 mobile. Today Edge is more than just a Microsoft Windows only web browser, it is now cross-platform with support for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Android and Linux now in beta. It should be no suprise at this point that Microsoft had plans to sunset support and outright remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10 one day, well that day has been announced.
On June 15th 2022, “Internet explorer will be retired and go out of support for certain versions of Windows 10.” Microsoft is quick to note that:
This retirement does not affect in-market Windows 10 LTSC or Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications. It also does not affect the MSHTML (Trident) engine. For a full list of what is in scope for this announcement, and for other technical questions, please see our FAQ.
While many features were absent at launch, Microsoft has made Edge feature rich and fast. Following a recent trend in browsers like Vivaldi receiving themes, Microsoft is now rolling out themes with some popular properties of its own. To start you can choose simple colors (hopefully these can be ties to the system themes) or a range of themes from Halo, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Forza Horizon.
More on the visual side of things, Microsoft is updating icons in Edge to be in line with their Fluent Design system. “In our latest release you’ll notice subtle updates to icons in Microsoft Edge that are rounder and softer in appearance,” explains Liat Ben-Zur, a Microsoft executive working on the company’s “Modern Life” initiative. “This is just the beginning of our design journey and we’re already imagining how to bring Fluent design throughout our products. We can’t wait to share more of our vision in the near future.”
“This is just the beginning of our design journey and we’re already imagining how to bring Fluent design throughout our products. We can’t wait to share more of our vision in the near future.”Liat Ben-Zur, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft
Microsoft is going wild with vertical things in 2021. “While browsing web pages, simply highlight a word, right click and search. A side panel will open with search results so you can get quick answers without having to navigate away from your current page.”
Outlook email integration
Microsoft is rolling out Outlook integration on the new tab page this month. “With the new smart tile for Outlook, you can see your three most recent emails and also start a new email or meeting request in Outlook, directly from the new tab page. To get started, open a new tab page and click the plus sign beside your current quick links. “
History & Tab syncing
As a sign that Microsoft Edge is maturing, the company has added History and Tab syncing to make moving between devices easier.
Auto profile switching for macOS
The feature that separates your browser activities into buckets of your choosing, like personal, work, a particular project or anything else you can come up with. “Now macOS provides the ability to switch sites that authenticate with a user’s work profile so it’s easier to toggle between work and personal browsing.”
For our 1-year anniversary, I’m excited to share we’ve created 24 new themes so now you have more ways to personalize your browser, with more coming over time. We’ve also partnered with Xbox to offer themes from your favorite franchises, including Halo, Gears, Forza, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Sea of Thieves, Grounded, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and more. Microsoft will support public submissions of themes and the selection of custom colors from directly within Edge Settings.
First party password managers are all the rage right now. Last year we reported on Mozilla launching their own built-in password manger and VPN. The problem with first party password managers is that they create lock-in and we hate lock-in. Our suggestion is to use 3rd-party password managers that are platform agnostic, that way you can switch your phone/PC platform for another or browser for another and take all your passwords with you. We use Brave browser and Enpass password manager.
With Internet Explorer reaching end of life next June, we say goodbye to an era many of us moved on from a long time ago with either Firefox, Chrome, Edge (legacy) or more recently with Brave.