Microsoft Edge was launched in 2015 and replaced Internet Explorer as the built-in web browser for Windows. The current version runs on the EdgeHTML engine, but a replacement built on Chromium is available to download as a preview and expected to launch in fall 2019.
This Microsoft Edge review focuses on the current public version, but it draws some comparisons to the preview build based on Chromium when relevant.
Edge falls well short of other browsers in terms of features and speed. Though it does well on security, its score on privacy is mediocre because of unclear settings and a lot of data collection enabled by default.
On desktop, Edge is only compatible with Windows 10, but support for Windows 7 and later, as well as macOS, will be included in the upcoming Chromium-based release. There’s also a mobile version available for Android 4.4 and later and iOS 10.0 and later. For this review we used a Windows 10 laptop and an iPhone running iOS 12.3 for testing
35% – Terrible
There’s not much to talk about regarding features in Edge. Though there’s a library of extensions you can download for the browser, it’s tiny compared to other browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox (read our Chrome review). Unless you’re looking for something basic like an ad blocker, you probably won’t find an extension that provides what you need.
Edge comes with a built-in notes function that allows you to write or draw on a screengrab of the website you’re on. That saves you the trouble of saving a screenshot and manually editing the picture if you want to draw attention to specific parts of a webpage.
There’s also a reading list feature that lets you save pages for later reading and make them accessible when you’re offline.
The feature on desktop that stands out the most is the “read aloud” tool, which uses Microsoft’s speech engine to translate the content of a webpage from text to speech. It works well enough for English webpages, but it’s hit or miss for anything else.
Edge on iOS and Android comes with “newsguard,” which analyzes websites based on the accuracy and reliability of their information. For example, if you access a trusted news publication, such as BBC, the browser tells you “this website generally maintains basic standards of accuracy and accountability” while InfoWars gets a warning stating the opposite.
The browser also comes with a translator, which after being turned on can translate text between more than 60 languages, including English, French, German and Spanish. The feature is also available for desktop, but it needs to be installed through the Edge extension store. It falls short of Google Translate in terms of supported languages and quality of translations, though.