Can Windows 10’s New Browser give Microsoft the Edge in Web Search?

Amid some controversy, Microsoft is to include its latest browser ‘Edge’ within the Windows 10 package, and at least one leading browser company has announced its frustration at this decision. However, in an environment where around 64% of the internet search market is controlled by a single dominant company, isn’t it about time a competitive search tool hit the market?

WinGA-Edge-Section1-InkingA key issue with the release of Edge is that it is bundled with the Windows 10 operating system. Previously, Microsoft fell foul of EU competition regulations concerning its Internet Explorer search tool and had to de-bundle it, allowing third party tools equal access and connectivity with Windows.

Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, denies restricting customer choice and states that it is merely providing a simple upgrade path which will provide users with a ‘cohesive experience’ across the platform. Moreover, is it the bundling of the browser with Windows 10, or the capabilities that the new browser offers that are making the competition nervous.

With Edge, Microsoft aspires to offer the browser for the future of the Web, and the company has invested to ensure its functionality. As with Windows 10, the browser aims to make the users experience simple. Once launched, it provides a clear and basic interface, allowing the user to concentrate on the Web content. Within settings, users are provided a number of toggle switches to turn features on and off allowing users to define their own web experience.

A key feature for Edge is Cortana, which is a web digital assistant, which when requested will make available additional contextual information around the search request. Other features, such as Reading View, will enhance the users experience, stripping away adverts to present a clean page view, with the opportunity to save content to a Reading List for later review.

By default, Edge uses the Bing search engine, which allows search terms to be entered directly into the address bar. When used in conjunction with Cortana the user will receive a more diverse and deeper level content acquisition than currently available.

So, there may well be reasons for the competition to be looking over their shoulders, as Edge rolls out with Windows 10. This has the potential to attract users back to a Microsoft browser and over the coming years we may witness a seismic change in the Web browser market.

browser-stats

Browser use June 2015 estimates (w3schools,.com) Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7.1%, Apple Safari 3.8%, Mozilla Firefox 21.3% and Google Chrome 64.8%

In respect of anti-competitive activity, a Microsoft spokesperson stated, “During the Windows 10 upgrade, consumers have the choice to set defaults, including personal choice for Web browsing.”

Astec, would remind readers that at this point in time we do not recommend upgrading to Windows 10. If you wish to discuss this topic further, please contact us.

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