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It’s been half a year since we proposed several reasons why Microsoft Edge is great 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now Microsoft Edge marks a complete break from the Internet Explorer brand name, killing off a 20-year-old family tree in the process. Here's why you should be using it. Read More , but now that the novelty has faded, one important question remains: Is Microsoft Edge worth using while Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are still around? Is Edge good enough to be your primary browser?

I don’t think so. Not yet, anyway.

The Edge browser marks the start of an exciting new era for Microsoft and it’s definitely a step in the right direction — but maybe it was unveiled too quickly. It currently feels more like a prototype than a ready-to-use product, and while progress is still being made, it’s still not “there” yet.

Here are a few drawbacks that you may want to consider before leaving your current browser behind.

1. Weak Extension Support

Bar none, the worst mistake that Microsoft ever made with Edge was releasing it to the public without any extension support. A browser without extensions is like a computer without any USB ports: sure, it works, but that’s about it. These days, no extensions means no mainstream adoption.

The good news is that extensions are almost here! Technically, extensions were made available on March 17, but only for Build 14291 or later, which is limited to users in the Windows Insider Program Be the First to Test New Windows 10 Builds as Windows Insider Be the First to Test New Windows 10 Builds as Windows Insider Windows Insiders are the first to test new Windows 10 builds. They are also the first to suffer from bugs. Here we show you how to join or leave the program and how to share... Read More . For everyone else, myself included, Edge is still a crippled, no-extension browser that leaves you thirsty for more.

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Not only that, but even the people who can use extensions in Edge are left in want — there are only seven extensions currently available to install. A handful of third-party extensions, including LastPass and Evernote, are set to be released soon, but nobody knows exactly when “soon” will be.

When can you expect extensions to come to the public version of the browser? If all goes according to plan, full extension support should arrive in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Windows 10 Anniversary Update Due in July & These Are Its Best Features Windows 10 Anniversary Update Due in July & These Are Its Best Features You will love the Windows 10 Anniversary Update! The second big upgrade to Windows 10 since its launch in July 2015 is expected this summer. Here we highlight the most exciting features. Read More , which is slated for Summer 2016. However, Microsoft has said that that’s not set in stone, so I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

2. Lack of Full Control

There are lots of reasons to like Windows 10 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 It's almost cool to hate on Windows 10 these days. Don't let that deprive you of all the benefits Windows 10 will bring! We show you what you're missing out on. Read More , but there are some pretty big reasons to hate it as well 5 Reasons Why Windows 10 Might Make You Switch to Linux 5 Reasons Why Windows 10 Might Make You Switch to Linux Despite Windows 10's huge takeup, there has been plenty of criticism for Microsoft's new everlasting operating system. Here are five top reasons why Windows 10 might irk you enough to make the switch to Linux. Read More — including the fact that Microsoft really wants to force its users to behave in one set way. A lot of the flexibility is gone, and it’s starting to feel like Apple’s closed ecosystem.

And Edge suffers from a lot of that, too. Yeah, Microsoft offers a handful of settings that you can tweak 7 Tweaks You Should Make in MS Edge Right Now 7 Tweaks You Should Make in MS Edge Right Now Edge is still new, but there are lots of cool customizations and tweaks that you can make already, all of which will help Edge work exactly the way you want it to. Read More , but they’re all very basic or superficial. If you really want to customize the browser, you can’t. Combined with the lack of extensions, you end up with an overly stiff and simple browser.

microsoft-edge-settings

For example, Firefox lets you dig into the about:config page to alter hundreds of different settings and variables. Chrome and Opera aren’t as flexible, but you can still tamper with options in the chrome://flags and opera://flags pages. Edge doesn’t offer anything like that.

Overall, Edge just feels restrained. Don’t believe me? Try changing the default search engine to Google or Yahoo. It’s way more annoying than it has to be.

3. Privacy & Security Concerns

Back in February, Edge users collectively freaked out when news broke that the browser was actually storing your private data even when browsing in InPrivate Mode Microsoft Edge Fails Privacy Test, Facebook Takes Your Guns... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft Edge Fails Privacy Test, Facebook Takes Your Guns... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft Edge is storing your private data, Facebook stops users selling guns to each other, Lonely Planet offers free travel guides, Netflix brings Gilmore Girls back to life, and The Fine Brothers are losing subscribers. Read More . Thus, it turned out that InPrivate Mode wasn’t actually so private after all.

Fortunately Microsoft responded quickly and rectified the issue before any major mishaps resulted from it. However, it did raise a question in everyone’s minds: if such an oversight could be made, how many other privacy-related flaws still exist in the browser?

microsoft-edge-cortana

Cortana is another feature of concern, not just for Edge but for Windows 10 as a whole. How much personal data does Cortana collect Do Siri, Cortana & Google Now Need Too Much Personal Data? Do Siri, Cortana & Google Now Need Too Much Personal Data? Read More between all of your questions and commands? Who knows. The silver lining is that Edge’s Cortana doesn’t have always-on listening… yet.

And while Edge is a marked improvement over Internet Explorer in terms of security, what we find is that many of the security holes in IE still exist in Edge. On the other side, Edge also introduced a few holes of its own, such as the recent PDF exploit Microsoft Edge's PDF Exploit: What You Need to Know Microsoft Edge's PDF Exploit: What You Need to Know The new Microsoft Edge browser has introduced new problems, such as its PDF exploit. But what is it? Are you safe? And is Edge unique with these types of issues? Let's investigate. Read More .

Not to mention that if Edge ever gets infected and loses core system files, there’s no easy way to completely reset the browser! As of this writing, you can only restore those missing files by using a Windows 10 image (which is a huge inconvenience).

4. No “Quality of Life” Features

A “quality of life” feature is one that isn’t necessary for the browser to function, but still provides a large enough measure of convenience and satisfaction as to be considered significant. Unfortunately, Edge is missing a lot of these.

For example, Edge can synchronize favorites, Reading Lists, and settings across multiple devices, but the ability to sync open tabs is still missing. As Microsoft clearly intends Windows 10 to be used across many devices, this seems like a big oversight on its part.

microsoft-edge-features

Other missing enhancements include: no history of recently closed tabs, no tab groups, poor handling of dragged tabs, no tab audio muting, and no ability to switch between multiple user profiles. The browser also suffers from occasional pages that won’t load and pages that randomly crash.

All in all, Edge currently feels rough and unpolished in a lot of ways. The core is there, and the browser definitely works when you need it in a pinch, but if you try to use it as a primary browser for daily use, you’ll likely find yourself more frustrated than satisfied.

5. Lagging Standards & Performance

This last issue with Edge isn’t as serious as the other ones, but it isn’t negligible either. As we found out in our recent in-depth comparison of all major browsers Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More , Edge is far from leading the pack in terms of performance and compliance with Web standards.

microsoft-edge-standards

To be fair, Edge won by a significant margin in the JetStream benchmark, but came in last in the Kraken and RoboHornet benchmarks (which are arguably more accurate and relevant than JetStream). Long story short, Edge has work to do before it becomes truly competitive.

Edge also came in last with respect to HTML5 compliance, scoring 453 out of 555 total points. By comparison, Firefox, Opera, and Chrome each scored 478, 520, and 521, respectively. Edge is better than Internet Explorer, of course, but may still render some websites improperly.

Microsoft Edge is Unimpressive

These days, when you’re trying to pick between multiple browsers, you just have to determine which feature is most important to you and then go with the browser that does it best. The problem with Microsoft Edge is that it’s simply not “the best” in any given area.

Want widespread extension support? Chrome. Want privacy and/or open source software? Firefox. Want speed and a clean user interface? Opera or Maxthon. Microsoft Edge doesn’t have an ace up its sleeve, unless you strictly use Windows 10 everywhere or you really want Cortana.

Are you using Microsoft Edge? If you had to pick one bad thing and one good thing about it, what would they be? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Image Credit: cartoon businessman by Rudie Strummer via Shutterstock, Welcome to Edge via Shutterstock

  1. juan
    November 15, 2016 at 10:31 am

    With Chrome you can view most sites but many are not properly rendered, or even some are not compatible (Activex and other technologies)
    The advantage of Chrome is that it uses a different process for each tab, and if one crashes you can save the others, at least most of the time. The drawback is that it devours your memory.

  2. B.
    August 12, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Biggest problem is that Edge is the worst I've ever used, for all those reasons and more. When you release a new OS and a new Browser, make them NEW and BETTER, not just the same mediocre. Don't force people to use the PC in one way... we aren't stupid and we do like to indulge our own creativity.

    • B.
      August 12, 2016 at 1:33 am

      Oh yes, and it's a poor copy of chrome.

  3. tflf
    July 10, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Worthless and a huge step backwards from IE 1, my least used browser reserved for for webmail, OneDrive and a few websites that did not function well in Chrome Firefox or Opera.
    IMHO, Edge fails on many levels. Aside from those discussed in the article, my two personal favorite Edge failings:
    1) Cannot import bookmarks from most other web browsers. Seriously? Not even HTML file support?
    2) Cannot use for webmail. I can read but I cannot reply or compose a new message. This is not a windows 10 problem, as the same webmail account works great in every other browser (including IE 11), in Windows 7, Windows 10, Android, Linux Mint and Ubuntu. Could be this is a setting issue, or an instillation glitch, but I refuse to spend hours tweaking flaky software when the alternatives work just fine.
    There is one Edge semi-positive: the Open with Internet Explorer function.
    Microsoft: I double checked the calendar and it still reads 2016, not 1997. People have lots of alternatives, and are much more internet savvy. By distributing Edge in it's current sad state, you have condemned it to being a fringe product.

  4. Anil Kumar Motupalli
    April 19, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Changing the default search engine. go to advanced settings and change. It's a onetime effort and also protects you from applications changing your default browser.

  5. Manu Gond
    April 18, 2016 at 8:12 am

    If Edge is brave enough to ask me to be my default browser, then I'm brave enough to ask the teacher to leave the classroom.

  6. FileEagle.com Chris
    April 15, 2016 at 6:23 am

    I did try to use Edge on Windows 10. It's very bad experience. Maybe Chrome will be a better choice.

  7. Shane Harris (Patch)
    April 15, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I agree with FCD76218

    Regardless of what you're after the writer is allowed an opinion, the choice is still up to you.

    Unless MUO finds a way to force you to do something then the decision remains with you.

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks Shane, I appreciate that! Hope you found the article informative and useful. :)

  8. fcd76218
    April 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    1. Weak Extension Support
    Could be a blessing in disguise. Extension could provide a malware attack vector. Besides, Microsoft is playing catch-up. They had to get a 'modern' browser out the door, whether it is ready or not. One of these days, Edge will have a bunch of extensions. (maybe)

    2. Lack of Full Control
    Did you really expect M$ to give the users full control over ANY of its products.

    3. Privacy & Security Concerns
    What else is new?! After all, it is from Microsoft.

    4. No “Quality of Life” Features
    Microsoft is playing catch-up. In a couple of years MS will get its stuff together and provide these features.

    5. Lagging Standards & Performance
    Maybe you expected full W3C compliance? From Microsoft? LOL

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      It may be obvious to you and me, but not everyone. As you say, we're a few years away from Edge being truly usable as a main browser, but some people don't know that (and others are super fast to jump on the hype train) so hopefully this piece was -- if anything -- a helpful reminder that these issues still exist. :D

  9. almadanathan
    April 14, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    One Reason Why I'm Stopping Visiting Makeuseof:

    1- "5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't" articles. Seriously guys, this is a good site but those articles are very stupid/cocky.

    Instead of doing that just write about the application, show me the good and bad points. Let ME decide what I'm going to use instead of telling me I shouldn't use something.

    • swanny246
      April 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Couldn't agree more almadanathan. I used to love MUO for actually publishing genuinely useful articles on useful ways to do things. Now it's just another clickbait site that has headlines that orders you to do things.

      Why not just publish an updated review?

      • Dave Parrack
        April 15, 2016 at 9:55 am

        This isn't clickbait. Clickbait lures you in with a headline and then fails to deliver on the promise. This headline promises you reasons not to use Microsoft Edge and then delivers reasons not to use Microsoft Edge.

        This article discusses bad points about Edge, but you can of course choose to read it, ignore them all, and then go and download Edge.

    • fcd76218
      April 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      @almadanathan & swanny246:
      This IS the updated review you're wanting. Are you guys sore because Joel is not praising Edge to high heaven? Re-read the first line. Joel links to an article which list "several reasons why Edge is great." In this article he gives 5 reasons why it is not. The decision is up to you. Nobody is forcing you not use Edge or to use it.

      • almadanathan
        April 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

        First of all I use Chrome and Firefox. I don't want him to praise anything just a neutral opinion, read about what's good and what's bad. Then I can decide if something is for me or not.

        And don't start with "Joel links to an article which list “several reasons why Edge is great.”
        The article is not even from the same Author.

        • epiquestions
          April 18, 2016 at 7:05 am

          Why are you still here? LOL.

          If the title read, "Don't use edge or you're a loser. " then it would be stupid and cocky.
          This article is no different from other review articles in the interwebz. They are all opinions and they are not forcing you to do anything. So why are you getting butthurt about the title?

          Does the article he linked have to be from the same author? Maybe he agrees with what the article says so he doesn't need to point it out needlessly on this article. Point is if you wanted to read about what's great in edge, the link has been provided for you.

          So eager to nitpick but too lazy to click on a simple link.

        • Joel Lee
          April 18, 2016 at 10:02 pm

          Thanks all for contributing and defending the article! I appreciate it. :)

          @almadanathan Sorry that the piece and the headline fell short of your expectations. "Edge is getting better, you should try it" is a common trend lately and I figured it would be helpful to offer some thoughts from the other side. And since we already have an article about the pros of Edge, it didn't make sense for me to rehash those points here.

          Sorry again. Hope you'll keep reading MakeUseOf! Not all of our writers are as silly as me. :P

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