Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 10, is due for release to the public on July 29th. With this new operating system, Microsoft is packaging an entirely new web browser, Microsoft Edge. Edge is a completely new application, different and independent from Internet Explorer. Microsoft's primary aim with Edge is to have a browser that will work better with younger websites and systems that utilize newer web concepts. The shift will be toward the convergent characteristics of modern browsing standards that are seeing increased influence from popular browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
With earlier incarnations of Internet Explorer, Microsoft's market share allowed them to truly dictate the web-browsing experience, however, now with the emergence of newer browsers, Microsoft is attempting to play catch-up with a completely new design of their web browser. This fundamental shift opens the door for users to do new web-feature things. While users will still have the option of using Internet Explorer 11, it appears as though Microsoft will push hard to lead them toward using Edge.
What’s new in Microsoft Edge?
By leaving Internet Explorer behind, Microsoft Edge is built for a faster, more streamlined experience for the user. Without the extensive code to enable backwards compatibility, as was the case with Internet Explorer, Edge should provide a more universal experience with a simplified interface. Mirroring some of its competitors, the layout is now much more intuitive and should give a more satisfactory user experience.
Edge will coordinate with Microsoft's personal assistant application, Cortana, to provide greater tie-in as part of Windows 10's emphasis on universality and coordination between applications. As such, Edge will make intelligent suggestions based on user's browsing history and even host news stories and content it deems relevant on the browser's start page.
Potential compatibility issues
So what does this mean for businesses? Generally, if a company's website or software systems were built with modern web standards in mind, compatibility with Microsoft Edge will likely not be an issue. If these were not built with modern web standards as an influence, now may be a good time to look into upgrading. While support for the older Internet Explorer browser is still available for the time being, this could serve as an excellent point of comparison. Those features that were written to work well with Internet Explorer may not transition well over to Edge.
On the other hand, if a business's particular web features were written to work well with Google Chrome, it's likely they'll work well with Edge too. Though there may be some quirks in specific instances, this should be a good rule-of-thumb for most. If your website features unique scrolling, expanding and collapsing elements, or interactive features, these may need further analysis.
How to get ready for Microsoft Edge
With the release of any new software or operating system, businesses are usually best served by positioning themselves ahead of time. By utilizing a software or web design company, you can allow somebody to check whether your software system or website functions satisfactorily using Microsoft Edge. By getting this done ahead of time, businesses are able to get out in front of any potential issues before the browser is widely adopted.
Should your business find issues with its current web presence, there are several strategic options moving forward. Maybe it’s time to invest in an entirely new web presence? Instead of focusing on the specific compatibility issues that were found, it might be worth performing a complete overhaul to defend against potential issues down the road as technology provides expanded capability. This undertaking, of course, depends on the complexity of the current website or systems in place. Businesses, therefore, need to fully analyze and understand the impact of any changes before making them.
If moving to a new platform is determined to be the most effective solution, then implement a plan for this move. After all, one day, Microsoft will end support for the Internet Explorer browser. What will happen to your website or software system then? By having a clear understanding of what your company needs to do to get in line with new platforms, businesses can ensure they are not left behind.
While a complete overhaul may be the best option, it doesn't necessarily have to be in all instances. If your site or software system is something you are confident in and has elements that should be kept, a software company can work with you to maintain these elements during your transition so your business has something that it can be proud of.
Ultimately, it's not necessary to rush into any big changes or decisions. Even a few months after the release, companies are still typically waiting to see how browsers are adopted by users before making any sweeping changes. In the meantime, they are best served by actively doing their due diligence ahead of the release date--finding out what changes they can address to help their systems or website run better and formulating an idea of the scope of the work necessary to make these adjustments.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming release of Microsoft Edge? How do you think businesses can prepare? Let us know in the comments below.
If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Edge or have any other questions about web applications as part of a custom software service, don’t hesitate to contact us today to speak with a software expert.