Microsoft Edge, initially developed under the codename Project Spartan, is a web browser developed by Microsoft and included in the company’s Windows operating system. Officially released on July 29, 2015, it replaced Internet Explorer as the default browser on Windows 10. It will also be the default browser of the forthcoming release of Windows 10 for smartphones and small tablets.
Microsoft Edge is designed to be a lightweight web browser with a layout engine built around web standards, removing support for legacy technologies such as ActiveX in favor of extensions and integration with other Microsoft services, such as the digital assistant Cortana and OneDrive; it also includes annotation tools and a reading mode.
Microsoft Edge will serve as the default browser on both the PC and mobile device editions of Windows 10, replacing Internet Explorer 11 and Internet Explorer Mobile. Edge uses a new layout engine also known as EdgeHTML, which is forked from Trident that is “designed for interoperability with the modern web”. The new “Edge” engine will be used by default across Windows 10. Microsoft initially announced that Edge would support the legacy MSHTML engine for backwards compatibility but later backtracked, revealing that due to “strong feedback” Edge would host the new engine exclusively, while Internet Explorer will host the legacy engine exclusively.
Edge does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and will instead use an extension system. Internet Explorer 11 will remain available alongside Edge on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes; it will remain nearly identical to the Windows 8.1 version and not use the Edge engine as was previously announced.
Edge integrates with Microsoft’s online platforms: it integrates with the Cortana digital assistant to provide voice control, search functionality, and dynamic, personalized information related to searches within the address bar. Users can make annotations to web pages that can be stored to and shared with OneDrive. It also integrates with the “Reading List” function to sync content between devices, and provides a “Reading Mode” that strips unnecessary formatting from pages to improve their legibility.
Later benchmarks conducted with the version included in 10122 showed significant performance improvement compared to both IE11 and Edge back in 10049. According to Microsoft’s own benchmark result, this iteration of Edge performed better than both Chrome and Firefox in Google’s Octane 2.0 and Apple’s Jetstream benchmark.
In July 2015 Edge scored 402 out of 555 points on the HTML5test. Chrome 43 and Firefox 38 scored 526 and 467 respectively, while Internet Explorer 11 scored 336.