Microsoft Edge is the new default and recommended browser for Windows 10. Microsoft Edge has been in production since 2014 and is about to release Edge 15, its fourth version.
While Internet Explorer 11 is still available, it will be the last version.
Windows has an announcement cycle, which calls for predictable releases made twice a year. There are previews of these releases in Windows Insider Program that everyone can access, including those without a @microsoft.com account. With this program, individuals have a chance to inspect new versions of the browser as well as get frequent updates which commonly occur either once a week or once every two weeks.
In order to test Edge, a partnership has been made with BrowserStack Cloud Testing. This option is made available so individuals who might not be on Windows can also experiment with the latest version of Edge.
The focus for Microsoft Edge from the beginning was interoperability and fundamentals. A lot of the work was done on the browser in order to ensure good performance in HTML5 tests as well as performance comparisons with Chrome 57, Firefox 52, Safari 10.1, and IE11.
Edge 15 has many exciting new features including all of the ES2016 features, WebVR, WebAssembly and cache-control. You can go to about:flags to try out some of the experimental features such as the service workers implementation and SharedArrayBuffer.
Microsoft Edge’s plan for the future involve improvements to
Service worker and related API (background sync, push API, etc.)
-DOM performance, and making sure Edge runs well in the modern web
-Dev tools, more specifically f12 tools
-PWA and implementations
-CSS modernization including Object-fit, Object-position, Grid
Advancements with Edge are being made using a more open approach. Windows developers are sharing their progress with the community in order to avoid implementing APIs that people don’t want to use. The browser itself is not open source but many of the components are available for contribution. For example, ChakraCore, Edge, WebGL renderer, Browser Efficiency Test, and Elevator are among the list of components made visible to the public for inspection, and can be accessed on github.com/microsoftedge.
APIs that are currently under construction are displayed on status.microsoftedge.com. By accessing links to User Voice, users can vote on the priority rank of API projects. This feedback helps to gauge the level of web developer and designer enthusiasm about the different APIs.
In addition to this feature, solutions on how to fix bugs in the browser can also be suggested as issues are disclosed.
Individuals can visit issues.microsoftedge.com to view all open issues, follow issues, see which issues are assigned to who, and determine whether a fix was shipped. Any issues filed feed into a bug tracker, which is then triaged by an employee.
To make the process even easier, contributors can simply hashtag #edgebug on twitter and include a link to their JSbin, codepen, etc. These posts go into the same pipeline as other issue trackers and would also be reviewed.
To stay connected with Edge or weigh in on the new features, check out their blog at blog.microsoftedge.com or follow them on Twitter @MSEdgeDev.
By Trinh Kien and Necoline Hubner