Before Microsoft released Edge, it had been years since Microsoft released a web browser that received any critical acclaim at all. Not only is the Edge a vast improvement over Internet Explorer, it’s also a fresh start for Microsoft to take on the likes of Chrome, Firefox and other browsers that have sucked Internet Explorer’s market share over the last few years. What makes it better for Edge is the timing of its release. At a time when even Chrome has started drawing criticism for its memory hogging and battery drain issues, and Firefox not faring much better either, it gives Microsoft plenty of room for competition.
While Edge might not be the best browser in the market right now, it’s atleast a step in the right direction. In its current form, it doesn’t support extensions, something which power users use a lot on Chrome. Also, while it does perform well on certain benchmarks, there’s still refinement that should be expected in the future updates. Some pages still don’t load up as they should and we can perhaps allow Microsoft some time to iron things out.
While Edge might eventually become the best browser on the planet, to gain traction, it needs to go cross-platform. Gone are the days when using browsers on two different machines operated by the same user looked absolutely different. Syncing your history, favorites and passwords across multiple devices has become the new norm. While Edge would allow it in its future versions, where all these things will be synced across PC, tablet and mobile devices, it will still be limited to Microsoft’s ecosystem. That wouldn’t have been a major problem had there not been over 1 billion people using Android as their primary driver. Given how badly Microsoft has failed at mobile, it needs to bring Edge to Android and iOS to encourage users to use the browser on their PCs too. Using Android, I find it very convenient that my history, search preferences and passwords are synced across my PC and my phone and that alone is a reason enough to keep me away from Edge on my PC.
Given Microsoft’s enthusiasm at bringing its apps such as Skype and Office to Android and iOS in the past, we might eventually see Edge on Android and iOS. Until then, we doubt it would be able to reach its full potential, no matter how good it actually is.