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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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