Microsoft just keeps adding new features to Edge, the default browser of Windows. Most of these are not only useless, they also hamper productive workflow by throwing the user into a bottomless pit filled with unwanted pop-ups, requests and subtle but not-at-all-welcome design changes. Additionally, they are peppered with what one can call outright privacy violations.
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Microsoft’s decision to switch from the in-house rendering engine to Chromium in 2021 brought with it long-awaited performance uplifts while also improving the range of available browser extensions tremendously. That was a massive win for users.
Two years on, the new Edge browser is a disaster. Quite a few users of Windows 10 and Windows 11 prefer to disable updates on every Microsoft product they get their hands on and now, I finally understand why. The default browser of Windows keeps getting new features, and to me, most of these are not just useless, they are actually counterproductive.
- Save time and money with Shopping!
- Let Microsoft Edge help keep your tabs organized!
- Get notifications of related things you can explore with Discover!
- Put inactive tabs to sleep!
- Enable grammar and spellcheck assistance!
- Show mini menu when selecting text!
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. While select few features are indeed welcome and useful – for example, Edge remembers the page where the user stopped reading a PDF document and will load that page automatically the next time the user opens the file – most are not. To me, a browser is a tool that has to be predictable and obedient. What I get instead is a stream of subversive features that quietly get installed in the background without my knowledge or consent, making me feel exposed and angry – like the “Share browsing data with other Windows features” one.
Microsoft’s latest excercise in disrespecting users involves adding some kind of a “search the Web right from your desktop” widget that just keeps on re-appearing after a while, despite multiple attempts to close it and disable the feature. Perhaps it’s just me and perhaps some people will actually find this bit of functionality useful. Who knows? What I am sure of is the following – Microsoft has to dial it down a notch, otherwise its efforts to make Edge the best and the most widely used browser out there will eventually backfire.
Sergey Tarasov – Senior Tech Writer – 2275 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2010
I love reading stuff. I also love dealing with different electronic devices, be that a remotely controlled toy or a new MacBook. When I am not at work, you can try searching for me somewhere in the mountains of Altai Republic, Russia.
Sergey Tarasov, 2023-06-25 (Update: 2023-06-25)