One month with Edge. What Linux can learn from Microsoft's new browser

One month with Edge

La stable versione of Microsoft Edge has been with us for a month. Why should Linux users care? First because Anything that stops Google from becoming the monopoly of the Internet is good forto users. Second, because there are things that Mozilla developers (more concerned with political correctness and diversity than making good products) and Linux desktops could learn.

As bad as Microsoft's monopoly was, Google's near-monopoly is worse. In the golden age of Explorer tYou had at least three other browser and rendering engine options: Firefox, Opera and Safari. There were also other lesser known options for Linux.

Today, of the six most used browsers four use the same rendering engine. Even if it is an open source project, the lack of options is never good.

The importance of the browser

With more and more services in the cloud, the browser is much more than a web page viewer. Is transforming into a substitute for the desk. Today it is already used as a pdf viewer and multimedia content player.

The great asset of Microsoft Edge, (and the secret of Chrome's success) es integration.

Google had the most popular search engine, it also ran some of the very popular web services. When you entered the main page, you would see the recommendation to install your search engine. When you translated a page with its translator, a banner reminded you that with Chrome you could automatically translate by pressing a button.

At the same time, Google services like Youtube and Docs started experiencing problems with competing browsers.

The result was that Google Chrome achieved market leadership and that, except for Safari and Firefox, all the most popular browsers use its rendering engine.

One month of Edge. This is what it looked like to me

Much of Windows users, by installing each new version we have a tradition. We open Explorer (or the old version of Edge) and we install another browser, in my case Brave or Firefox. In most cases, Chrome.

According to my first impressions (and those of many reviews I read) Edge is a very "usable" browser. You barely open it you already have the synchronization of history, bookmarks and passwords activated because it uses your Microsoft account.

And this is the first thing Mozilla and desktop developers could learn. Putting for example what happens in Ubuntu:

  1. Although Firefox is pre-installed I have to open the browser and log into my account. Then open the mail (whose password I have to remember) to confirm that it is me.
  2. Next, I have to go to the GNOME account manager and manually configure my Google account for calendar and Ubuntu One for bug reports and LivePatch.
  3. Next, I have to set up my email account in Thunderbird (which is developed by a Mozilla subsidiary and comes pre-installed) Since GNOME wants you to use its own email solution, it doesn't help if you put it in the account manager. Thunderbird has its own calendar manager. Theoretically, you could sync it with GNOME calendars (by entering your username and password) Spoiler: It doesn't work.

All this se could fix if Mozilla worked together with desktop developers for better browser integration How many of you use GNOME Web or Falkon?

I suppose that asking the Ubuntu One Account to perform the same function as the Microsoft account so that the data is automatically synchronized between each new installation, would be asking too much of the free software orthodoxy. Although, it could be optional. And even a payment service to finance the work of the different projects.

As part of the Windows Insider program, I thought the upgrade to Edge would be done automatically. However, I had to do it manually. On the other hand, the replacement was done quickly.

Importing bookmarks, history and passwords from Firefox is easily done with the wizard, although in the first minutes the autocomplete of the passwords did not work at all well. I am not clear if it was a matter of time or restarting the browser. But now it works without problems.

The other features are to be expected in a quality browser. The Microsoft extension store seems well supplied, and, in the last case you can resort to Chrome since they are compatible.

I must say that I instantly loved the reading mode. Not only does it allow you to switch to a dark theme and enlarge the typography,others integrates with Windows screen reading mode.

I don't know if I would bother to install it on another operating system. But i'm sure if I reinstall Windows I won't bother to download another browser.

As someone said:

If you have the Olympus operating system installed, use the Zeus browser

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  1.   Light creator said


    1.    Marco Furio Camilo said

      More unpleasant is fanaticism ... and your mother in a thong.

      1.    01101001b said

        «And your mother in a thong»
        Sep, you perfectly demonstrated that there are things more disgusting than fanaticism: a big guy with the mentality of a 7-year-old kid.

        1.    Jorge Raigoza said

          Firefox really handles user passwords very well, as portable as the most, it is worth between devices, on the other hand, outlook android is a bad beast that lacks much functionality and is not automatically configured as the gmail client, and desktop outlook if that is laborious, instead tunderbird allows you to export your user profile transparently.
          I think the author does not know much about the tools he is criticizing

          1.    Diego German Gonzalez said

            My comment refers to the integration between Thunderbird / Firefox and GNOME and between Thunderbird / GNOME and Google calendars. At no time did I talk about Outlook or Android.
            But, if you want a comment
            I use Outlook with my webmail accounts and they work perfectly, but it is not the subject of the article

          2.    Light creator said

            In a portal about GNU / Linux and talking about the wonders of Microsoft Edge. A total disgrace. It's not the first time covert advertising has been done for proprietary companies in this place, I've already read a couple more covert out there.
            On the other hand, a browser that I really like is GNOME Web and I use it when for other reasons I cannot use Firefox on GNU / Linux. I love how simple it is and how little by little it takes shape and body, and capabilities as well.
            If anything, a disgusting article posted in the most inappropriate place.
            I won't even bother to comment on the answer above. What is written there is a perfect mirror of the person who has written it.

      2.    Jorge Raigoza said

        Firefox really handles user passwords very well, as portable as the most, it is worth between devices, on the other hand, outlook android is a bad beast that lacks much functionality and is not automatically configured as the gmail client, and desktop outlook if that is laborious, instead tunderbird allows you to export your user profile transparently.
        I think the author does not know much about the tools he is criticizing

  2.   01101001b said

    I read the article more than a couple of times and I still don't understand what Linux has to do with browsers. What is the point? Force everyone to have an account with our personal data for "synchronization" of a browser? That we should all use the same desktop?

    Linux philosophy still not understood? It is that everyone works with their system to their liking. A browser that is telling me over and over that with Chrome you can do this or that, or a distro that bothers to fill an account with personal data with the mantra that it is for * me * "comfort and productivity" are bullshit.

    If someone wants to have all that and look like M $, use wind * ws or a distro that does something similar. It's none of my business. But impose it on everyone, no. I don't need any of that. And even less annoyances that some group of delusions insist on qualifying as "comfort."

  3.   Roberto said

    The fact that you have to log into an account is not true, there is that possibility but if you open a new tab you can navigate without entering any account. I guess the others are also untrue.
    I don't think Edge adds anything to Linux. If Linux bothers you, stick with Windows. You can have both operating systems as well.

  4.   Mephisto Feles said

    Firefox is getting better every day and I can configure it however I want, and if I am concerned about privacy I have all the add-ons I want apart from what Firefox already does by itself.
    Going Google with Chrome to Edge with Chrome, is only to get out of the clutches of one monster to fall into those of another. Changing Gmail for Outlook is the same. It is giving private life to these multinationals.
    Who really needs all those synchronization features, maybe very few.
    It is better to do things by hand, one by one and thus be calm.
    Who guarantees the privacy of Google or Microsoft emails. I continue with Protonmail, even if I have to memorize two passwords.
    That Chrome is very fast, yes .. it is true, but I prefer to sacrifice a little speed for my privacy.
    The Internet is like a big city where everyone follows you and very few realize this. You can enter naked on a skateboard or in an armored car with tinted windows. That's Firefox ...

  5.   Hernán said

    Hi Diego.
    I want to tell you that not only did I really like the note, but I also totally agree.
    I am a lover of GNU / Linux (since the '90s) especially Debian and its derivatives. Unfortunately, I think that GNU / Linux will find it very difficult to gain ground in terms of user ratio. I consider that there is a lot of fanaticism and therefore it is very difficult to be able to observe the virtues of the other SO It is paradoxical that people talk about "freedoms ...", etc etc and as soon as there is a person who thinks differently, we attack him as if he were committing a crime.
    I think this look does not add to this community.

    1.    Diego German Gonzalez said

      Thank you very much for your comment

      1.    Hernán said

        Thanks to you for being honest and for the note. There are not many people like you. Thanks again.

  6.   Xavier said

    I did not like this article at all, in fact I like this portal less and less, but leaving those subjectivities aside, what I am going to do is the following:

    When you say that "anything that prevents Google from becoming the Internet monopoly is good for users", go beyond the bad marking of the text, a good idea in principle, but when "anything" means betting Edge that it is a development of another company with monopoly ambitions such as Microsoft, the bet is not very good.

    I don't know which Mozilla developers you know, but their priority has not been political correctness, but maintaining the privacy of their users, something that in these times of normalized mass surveillance is appreciated.

    Regarding the golden days of the late IE, the fact that there are fewer browser options is currently relative, the underlying problem is just the rendering engine, everyone has turned to using the one developed by Google, and Edge is not the option. , so that because it is from Microsoft instead of Google does not seem better or less a sufficient reason to use it.

    That "usability" that you celebrate Edge implies that you are giving up your privacy and giving, to some extent, control of it to Microsoft with all your data to save you typing a password (Firs World problems?)

    Why would Firefox whose focus is privacy would have to go in the opposite direction to give you that supposed comfort. In addition, your problems are solved with the use of a password manager such as KeePass (in any of its versions) or any other, if remembering a password implies a great and uncomfortable effort. The thunderbird and Gnome integration problem can be solved if you report the bug to the developers, instead of complaining in a post like this.

    Now, on the one hand you question the existence of gnome web and falkon and on the other, at first you criticize the lack of options in terms of browsers, that is, who understands you?

    It is not that a greater cooperation between developments such as Firefox, Gnome or KDE seems crazy to me, but if I remember correctly, there is another group of low-level developers out there who are in charge of approving and standardizing many of the things they use. so that they are as standardized as possible within the distros and perhaps even Unis in general.

    It is not that asking for the Ubuntu One Account to function like Microsoft's is too much for orthodoxy, it is simply detrimental to privacy and facilitates massive surveillance by the companies that have control of that information and as the divo de Juárez, but what need?

    Firefox sync has improved a lot, I ignore your burning comment pointing out its already corrected bugs, again, it is not necessary.

    Praise the extension stores in times in which the large number of them that track and collect information from users without their knowledge has become known, something that has affected both Chrome and Firefox, it does not seem like a good feature either. to highlight.

    The reading mode thing is fine, that it integrates well with Windows seems very natural to me, perhaps there it makes sense to demand more in the gnu / linux world, but since I avoid reading modes except in a few cases, no It is fundamental to me.

    In the end I don't care what operating system you use, what puzzles me is reading this ode to Edge on a site dedicated to gnu / linux (at least in name), although it looks more and more like a Windows Addicts; which is not bad either, but it would seem more honest to me to rename the site for the sake of consistency and out of respect for the readers who may come here for tricks like that.

    1.    zicoxy3 said

      The article is an ode to Microsoft and its new browser, which in a way drinks in the same ways as Google and its Chrome. Everything close at hand, very comfortable, but leaving a serious privacy and tracking issue behind.
      It is good to have alternatives, even if only in shape (developing an engine is difficult). There will be those who find it useful and even necessary a new browser controlled by Microsoft.
      In my case, I will continue with Firefox, for pleasure and because I trust the crusade for privacy that it carries as its flag. It has deficiencies, like everyone else, but lately I value privacy over the comfort of clicking a button and having my settings, my history and my entire life on Microsoft or Google servers.

  7.   Anselmo said

    And why should I install Edge if I already have Chromium installed? Does Edge Chromium work very well on windows and following Microsoft's philosophy it gives you everything done? Well, if I liked that philosophy of "all done" I would be using Windows and not Linux. If I haven't installed Chrome, why should I install Edge? Will you send me a Satya Nadella cake for Christmas if I do? I think you have the belief that GNU / Linux has to look like Windows. No, you don't have to. GNU / Linux is an alternative with its alternative programs to windows. You can use it as is or, it is an advice, continue with windows and forget it. Nobody forces you to use it.

  8.   I hate said

    Radically disagree with this article. I do not touch that browser not even with a stick.

  9.   Javier said

    I tested MS Windows 10 with Edge and it looks good. The point is, not everyone wants this on a Linux desktop. What MS raises is more similar to a Mobile, like Android, where everything is linked by a Gmail account. The solution for those looking for such "convenience" could come as a safe alternative to synchronize data independently of the platform, desktop, browser, etc, something on the outside.

    For example to store passwords I use Bitwarden, I don't trust any browser, nor do I like kwallet.