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article imageMicrosoft Edge tries to be the cutting edge with new features

By James Walker     Feb 2, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft Edge is getting several new features with the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update designed to enhance productivity and entertainment. Microsoft is aiming to attract new users to the browser in a bid to reverse its falling market share.
The final list of major improvements coming to Edge this spring was detailed by Microsoft this week. In a blog post, it said it's working to optimise performance, battery life, security and productivity with the Windows 10 Creators Update, creating a browser that it thinks caters for all.
Tab management
Edge is getting a new set of advanced tab management features to help you organise your browsing sessions. According to Microsoft, users are often "derailed" by having multiple tabs open, becoming overwhelmed when they're not able to work out which one they're looking for.
Microsoft Edge features in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft Edge features in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
To help with this, Edge's tab preview feature has been expanded. In the current version of Windows 10, hovering over an open tab displays a thumbnail of its contents. With the Creators Update, you'll be able to click a new arrow icon in the title bar to display an enlarged preview strip, letting you see thumbnails of all your tabs pinned to the top of the window.
Additionally, you'll be able to set a group of tabs aside. This clears all your tabs out of the window, letting you clean up your workspace and remove distractions. Tabs that have been set aside are still easily accessible though. You can restore them back to the main window using the "Tabs you've set aside" gallery.
3D and virtual reality
Microsoft is focusing on emerging creative technologies with the Windows 10 Creators Update. It is launching new apps aimed at 3D and virtual reality and expanding existing ones with features relevant to the field. Edge is no exception, gaining new features that make it easier to view 3D content in the browser.
Microsoft Edge features in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft Edge features in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
Microsoft is also enabling an early implementation of the WebVR API. This allows web browsers to interact with virtual reality headsets, letting you play online games and videos in VR. Other browser vendors have already added WebVR support to their apps.
E-books
Microsoft is preparing to launch a new e-book store with the Creators Update. It will use Edge as the reading experience for purchased books, letting you open EPUB files in the browser. A range of options including font size, layout, theme and navigation controls will be available to help you customise how the book is displayed.
Payments, security and efficiency
Alongside the main features, the new version of Edge will debut many other improvements designed to make browsing easier and more reliable. Microsoft has extensively optimised Edge to improve performance and battery life, although its rivals aren't convinced. Last year, the company managed to start a new round of browser wars with its controversial efficiency claims.
Microsoft Edge features in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft Edge features in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
Support for the new Payment Request API will let you complete online shopping purchases using your stored Microsoft Wallet credentials. This allows you to pay without handing your card details over to every site you shop from, increasing security.
Edge – Trying hard to be the cutting edge
Microsoft said it's aiming to help people complete their daily work more quickly and efficiently with the new round of features for Edge. In its blog post, it claimed that the creation of the app was "an important step" in the evolution of browsers.
"The introduction of Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 was an important step towards delivering a browser that not only gives users better performance, battery life, and security, but also a browser that keeps up with the ever-changing demands of digital living," said Microsoft.
Microsoft Edge can now outperform browsers including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox  according to...
Microsoft Edge can now outperform browsers including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, according to disputed claims from Microsoft
Microsoft
However, Edge hasn't been received especially well. Its market share is declining steadily as users who initially gave it a try move away to rival browsers. Microsoft has come under fire for its aggressive promotion of Edge and the app itself hasn’t helped matters. Despite Microsoft claiming Edge is efficient and performant, it's also buggy, prone to crashes and slow to respond.
Some of these issues will be remedied by the underlying architecture improvements made with the Creators Update. However, with market share flagging and demand for a new browser low, Edge is still a long way from becoming a class-leading app.
More about Microsoft, microsoft edge, Windows, windows 10, windows 10 creators update
 
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