Why Does Microsoft Need a New Browser — Edge?

By Woody Leonhard

Microsoft Edge is just starting to spread its wings. Born in a hellish crucible of Internet Explorer excess, Microsoft’s new browser is fast and light, and — most importantly — it has shed all the baggage that IE carried for so long.

Microsoft took its dominance in the web browser market as an excuse to release all sorts of Microsoft-only products, tie them into the browser, and convince developers to sing the IE song: ActiveX and Silverlight, Helper Objects, and Explorer Bars are all part of a lexicon that should have never appeared — one that should be crushed as quickly as possible.

What does that mean for you? The web pages you go to that used to be “built for Internet Explorer” are going to fade away. Rapidly.

The web programmers who were so caught up in Microsoft-proprietary technology have had their comeuppance. They’re learning to build websites that are hospitable to all browsers. If they don’t learn, their sites are going to wither. With Edge, all the browsers stand on a more or less level playing field. And that’s truly refreshing.

All in all, Edge has put Microsoft back in the running. It doesn’t yet have the huge support and add-on catalogs sported by Google Chrome and Firefox. But it doesn’t have their legacy lethargy, either.

Edge has become something of a poster child for Microsoft’s newly discovered interest in rapid release cycles. The version of Edge that you’re running right now is probably different from the version you’ll see a couple of months from now. The foundation will stay the same, but bells and whistles are inevitable.