I’ve been asking people if they’d received the Windows Anniversary Update yet. The most common response was “I think so” but that’s about it. I would have thought that it would have been a momentous event. I figure that there would be the massive changes to the Edge web browser if there was. So, when I booted into Windows, I would look at it and it appeared as though nothing had changed.
I decided to take matters into my own hands and headed off to the Microsoft website to see if I was running the current version of Windows and I wasn’t. I got the message that I had two options – one was to wait and it would come as a matter of course and number two was to “Click here”. So, I chose #2.
I can tell you now that there should be no guessing whether or not you have the anniversary update. Between the time to download, the installation, the three or four reboots, and then setting things up, there’s no question that you’re doing something pretty big. In fact, it took the better part of a day to get things done here. Eventually it was and I was off to explore. I actually quite like Windows 10; I’m glad that I upgraded. Windows 7 had really gone south on me.
But, how about Edge? Since I spend so much time online, having the best web browser is a personal goal. So, I forced myself to use it for everything that I was doing so that I could get a sense of how it addresses what I do.
Some observations and experiences…
- Extensions are here! Yay! I was tired of using the old Edge and having to have Firefox open as well so that I could get access to the passwords stored for me. Sadly, at this point, there are only a limited number of extensions available from the Microsoft store. I grabbed Adblock Plus, Evernote, OneNote, LastPass, and Office Online. That’s about all that I could see a use for at this time. There were only a few available anyway (13 to be exact). I installed the ones that I wanted and they worked. I like the fact that I could control whether or not they appeared on the address line. But, when I closed Edge and loaded it later, I got.
At least, I learned that I could turn them on and off.
- Lazy person that I am, I like to pin frequently used tabs so that when the browser opens, they are there. Edge allows for that but there’s a big BUT for me. When you follow a link, instead of opening the tab at the end of the pinned tabs like every other browser, it opens it right next to the tab that called it. It’s a small thing but still interrupted my normal flow of doing things.
- I like to read and share. So, this morning, I decided to do all my morning reading in Edge. In every other browser, when you decide to share a story just read on Flipboard, a popup window appears with the details. Edge doesn’t play that way. It decides to split the screen leaving Flipboard in a window on the left and Twitter in a window on the right. When the message is sent to Twitter, Windows closes the Twitter window and redraws the screen to show where Flipboard left off. Again, not a biggy, but the time to do this and shake the screen a couple of times is time that I could be reading.
- It’s slow and seems to take up a lot of memory. I recognize that I only have 4GB of RAM on this computer but just a user test against Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer (yes, it’s still on the system) showed that they all worked quicker than Edge.
- The interface is unlike any other browser with the URL bar not at the top of the screen at the beginning but that just takes getting used to. Once you visit a site, it goes to the top of the screen like it should. <grin> I do like that the opening screen shows a collection of news stories like Opera’s discover feature. You do have to be careful because there’s advertising hiding in the middle of those stories.
- I didn’t notice it at the time but I’ll own this own. Some of the stories that I shared to my timeline didn’t have the URL attached to them, just the story title. I just got a reminder email that I had screwed up. That’s my fault; I should have paid more attention but I’ve been doing this for so long, the sharing becomes an automated task. I should have paid more attention.
- As mentioned above, Internet Explorer remains on the system. Presumably this is for compatibility reasons and you can open an Edge session in Internet Explorer. I never thought I’d be saying this but IE does feel like a mature browser. Edge still feels like a work in progress.
Now, Windows 10 and Edge browser have improved light years over the original offering but, for my use, Edge isn’t ready to fit into my workflow yet. I have no doubt that it will get better with time.
But, for the moment, I’m back to my old faithful browsers.
How about you, reader? Are you running Windows and have you updated to the Anniversary update? Am I missing something in my observations? Do you have any of your own to contribute? Are there settings that I’m overlooking? I’d love to hear your thoughts.