Are we set for a new round of browser wars? Microsoft Edge announced
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – the browser that opened the door for an entire generation to the wonderful world wide web – has been discontinued. Final production has been marked to cease on the 16th of January next year. Despite IE’s recent run of malware infection problems, the death of the browser signals a solemn end for many long-term internet users.
Microsoft, however, aren’t going to shy away from the browser industry so quickly, and they have announced IE’s replacement, Microsoft Edge. Recently, we learnt more about the browser that has been designed in conjunction with Yahoo and Microsoft. Without being revolutionary, Edge seems like a good deal. However, are we set for the third installment of everyone’s favourite IT game – browser wars?
What is a browser war?
For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of the big Internet monopolies fighting it out for web supremacy, we will run through a brief recap. The term browser wars refers to two distinct periods in the web’s short history:
- Microsoft vs Netscape Navigator way back in the 90’s
- The all in battle between Opera, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft, and Google Chrome, which we saw from 2005 until 2009
The first browser war reshaped the way we saw a webpage, with IE’s easy to use interface winning out over Navigator’s more complex design. The second one can be summed up as a race for interactivity. Chrome won this particular battle due to the awesome power it yielded to its owners. IE, remaining stubborn to its simplistic principles, was overrun by more powerful tools. With Edge, Microsoft is hoping to catch up to the rest of the field as quickly as possible.
What makes Edge different from IE?
Internet Explorer’s downfall was in part due to its poor relationship with IT professionals. They lamented the browser’s simplicity and its terrible handling of more complex processes and algorithms. This is not to say that for the average layman, IE was looked down upon in the same disdain. A majority of the world’s population still use IE as their preferred web tool. In Edge, Microsoft has made it out to be a cool new technological masterpiece just in name alone, still playing to their established fanbase.
What the average person won’t see, however, are the in depth changes made to the coding and the interface itself. Edge has made good use of a fast processing unit, allowing pages to load quicker than they ever did on IE. Edge will also accommodate plugins much easier, something that IE never could grasp. There is also a browsing assistant built into Edge called Cortana. This will use the wide network of the Bing search tool to bring it up to speed, with auto-completion and suggesting of search queries used by Google Chrome and others.
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What do you think about Microsoft Edge? Is it a worthy successor to IE, or is it going to fall short against Chrome?