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Edge of Tomorrow: Microsoft's New Web Browser is Coming Soon

Microsoft is aiming to leap out to the leading edge of web browsing with the new browser that will ship with most (though not all) editions of the forthcoming Windows 10.

W10 Desktop Start FOR-MNC-HERO SMALLSomewhere teetering on the razor's edge between artful and not-so-artful there are a whole smorgasbord of puns about Microsoft's new web browser. Briefly dubbed Spartan, the heir apparent to the mixed and lately muddled legacy of Internet Explorer has a moniker that's even more, well, spartan than before: Edge. Just four little letters have conclusively edged out a never-meant-to-be legacy of classical Greek bon mots and and Gerard Butler in 300 references.

 

With a little more than a month to go before the public release of Windows 10, anticipation of Edge is high. Late last week, however, a slew of stories broke of a sort that may become more commonplace as Edge goes through its inevitable New Tech on the Block growing pains. Edge, it would seem, is not yet compatible, strictly speaking, with the hot new Skype for Web tool. Which probably wouldn't seem like a particularly big deal were it not for the fact that Microsoft, you know, paid $8.5 billion to acquire Skype back in 2011. Oops.

 

It's the sort of thing that, for example, holders of the soon-to-arrive Windows 10 MCSA certs can expect to hear a lot more about in the months ahead.

 

There's still plenty of good news for Microsoft. A recent post to Microsoft's JobsBlog that features an interview with program manger Clarice Chan offers a subtle reminder that even wheezy, clunky Internet Explorer still claims an intimidating share of the global web browser market. As Chan puts it in the interview, the Edge team is preparing a product that will instantly be put in the hands of "hundreds of millions of people."

 

Though Google's Chrome has, over the past decade, knocked IE from a once-lofty perch as the most-used browser in the world, usage estimates from StatCounter found as recently as February that nearly 20 percent of all web traffic is still filtered through the IE prizm. So while Edge likely won't be in any sort of pole position when it arrives at the racetrack with the scheduled release of Windows 10 July 29, neither is it about to left eating, say, Firefox's dust.

 

On the other hand, despite its cutting edge underpinnings, Microsoft is making a sizeable hedge on Edge. Internet Explorer 11 will be the only option for some companies upgrading to Windows 10 that have certain organizational agreements in place. And while home users will have an Edge on many corporate users in that respect, some observers aren't entirely convinced that Edge is a better option than IE 11.

 

In any event, industry watchers will have lots to digest as Windows 10 and Edge gradually filter out into common usage. The frenzy of chatter about the presumed advantages, shortcomings and longed-for-upgrades to both products is certain to increase as the midsummer calendar ticks steadily toward late July.