back to article Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

Weary old web warhorse Internet Explorer (known to thousands of Reg readers' spouses and parents up and down the land simply as "the internet") is destined soon for the dustbin of tech history. After decades of dominance through proprietary lock-in and anti-trust-busted software bundling, the monster lurking in web developer …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge
    Go

    It seems good, but...

    Not until AdBlock is available in some easy to maintain form (HOSTS file doesn't count).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Frank N. Stein

        Re: It seems good, but...

        No extension Support at launch? Then I will use Chrome until they have plugin support, namely, Adblock.

    2. Turtle

      @AMBxx Re: It seems good, but...

      "Not until AdBlock is available in some easy to maintain form (HOSTS file doesn't count)."

      I am waiting for a NoScrpt workalike, myself. NoScript is the one reason and the only reason that I use FireFox.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Happy

      They should keep IE, but simplify it for its most common use

      Get rid of the address bar and everything else except one big button in the middle - "Download Chrome".

      1. Stuart Castle

        Re: They should keep IE, but simplify it for its most common use

        Or they could offer a choice, you know, like the Browser Choice screen? Not everyone likes Chrome.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Not everyone likes Chrome.

          No, some of us like to be able to control when an app updates itself, something Chrome makes very awkward.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm

    If this thing can safely break the auto-run html5 video feature that the latest version of Chrome is refusing to stop, I'll switch thanks.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Joke

      Re: Hmmm

      I will miss those great Internet Explorer ads though.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Soon?

    Internet Explorer will soon be ... in the dustbin of internet history.

    IE6 was only recently - finally - disposed of. So, I don't think "soon" means what you think it does...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Soon?

      I agree. IE will ONLY be removed from a good many companies (and HMG) dead cold hands at the turn of the next decade (at the earliest) no matter what MS might try to do.

      There are just far too many internal applications that just won't work on any other browser. This might be by design (job contimuation) or accident (even more job continuation). Who really knows.

      Also, MS seems to still be having problems with its own website not working all that well with Edge.

      It is almost as if Bono has deviced to go it alone and form U1.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Soon?

        "There are just far too many internal applications that just won't work on any other browser."

        It's questionable if they even work on IE...

        1. JustNiz

          Re: Soon?

          Never mind internal. Many of Microsoft's own mainstream commercial products rely on IE-only crap. Sharepoint is just one example.

      2. Vic

        Re: Soon?

        There are just far too many internal applications that just won't work on any other browser. This might be by design (job contimuation) or accident (even more job continuation).

        I worked on a browser-based project a couple of years back. The intent of the spec was that only IE need be supported. The spec actually said that only IE would be usable...

        Needless to say, we accidentally forgot to implement that bit.

        Vic.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "considerably more compliant with the HTML standards that define the web."

    Embrace...

    "Edge has a lot of new features for users"

    Extend...

    Remind me, what comes next?

    1. dogged

      What Edge doesn't do is implement CSS with "-webkit-" prefixes. If anything has embraced and extended web standards, it's WebKit.

      Mozilla and MS (with Edge) are the only things preventing it from extinguishing them.

      Like the first commenter, I'm not switching until there are equivalents of AdBlock, NoScript and Ghostery - I'll stick with Firefox until that happens.

      After it happens (since Edge supports a plug-in architecture, it will happen), I might well switch. Some ad-hoc testing in a Win10 VM indicates that it's orders of magnitude faster in use than either Chrome or Firefox (although to be fair, this may be because there are no plugins).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hope Edge still has a DOM object interface for user applications. Otherwise the need for a major redevelopment will prompt a move to Linux.

        1. dogged

          You say that but you're on the Register. Here, everything from war in the Middle East to a slightly uncomfortable bowel movement is viewed as MS's fault and grounds for a move to linux.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Linux

            > Here, everything from war in the Middle East to a slightly uncomfortable bowel movement is viewed as MS's fault and grounds for a move to linux.

            And that's wrong how?

            1. dogged

              linux has many virtues but being high in fibre isn't one of them.

              1. mmeier

                Actually I consider Linux the "Granola OS"

                All the nuts and flakes in one pot. And Toe Cheese!

      2. Mike Dimmick

        -webkit- prefixes in Edge

        Microsoft have discovered that a very large part of the web - particularly the mobile web - doesn't work properly without -webkit prefixes. So they've implemented a ton of them in Edge: http://www.justrog.com/2015/05/the-web-no-longer-works-without-webkit.html .

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: -webkit- prefixes in Edge

          Yeah, but that's Google stinking up the web with non-standard markup and therefore ok. Totally different to the IE specific stuff that we all loathe.

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: -webkit- prefixes in Edge

          Here, everything from war in the Middle East to a slightly uncomfortable bowel movement is viewed as MS's fault and grounds for a move to linux.

          AND IT'S TRUE!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exterminate. For the record.

      Certain things, even rhetorical, deserve being spelled out.

  5. Paul Shirley

    still riddled with Flash badness though

    Another chance to tell Adobe which orifice to shove Flash back up missed :(

    1. David Austin

      Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

      Including Flash with Internet Explorer 11 was Windows 8's biggest of many sins in my eyes.

      We're just at the point where binning it is a viable option, and Microsoft make it the flash and PDF Support the only "plugin" available in Edge.

      Too late to do much about it now, But I'd really urge Microsoft to ship Windows 10 with the plugin off by default, rather than on by default...

    2. Michael B.

      Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

      In the advanced settings there is a simple switch "Use Adobe Flash Player" so disabling Flash is only 3 clicks away.

      1. Can't think of anything witty...

        Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

        I got a new work laptop in January this year and have not installed flash on it - despite the fact that i use it quite a bit for non-work (mostly out of office hours... ... mostly).

        Can honestly say that i really don't miss flash to any significant amount. the only website that still seems to need it is the BBC with some of their content and generally, i don't feel like i'm missing out on anything as i prefer to read the news stories (not watch them) and i have the iPlayer app on my phone and xbox if i do need catch up.

        As soon as they get rid of it, it will be a distant memory and i cannot wait.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

          if it wasn't for the fecking BBC I'd disable flash on our site in about 5mins. But to fork the BBC's website is a step too far for our users :o(

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

          Have an upvote.

          I expressed almost exactly the same sentiment on a previous article about Flash. BBC is the only site I regularly visit to which lack of flash is a bit of nuisance, but i too prefer to read (even just the single paragraph accompanying a vidclip is generally all I want to know without siting through a clip that adds no extra info.

          I'm sure that the written word is being phased out on the BBC news site, it's like Fahrenheit 451...

          1. Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure

            Re: still riddled with Flash badness though

            But I think the BBC is following its users in this case, not leading them...

      2. DougS Silver badge

        @Michael B - easy to disable Flash

        You miss the point - by including it and having it enabled by default, web designers can assume that anyone running that browser has Flash available.

        The designers typically use different code for different devices, so while the Safari version will assume no flash, the Edge version will assume flash is present. Sites with Flash will probably break if you try to visit them in Edge with Flash disabled, because they will ignore the small percentage of people who change their defaults.

  6. Wardy01

    wtf!

    I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that something Microsoft did was highlighted as positive on here.

    What's going on?

    I'm confused?

    True though ...

    1. Jeff Lewis

      Re: wtf!

      Really? Did you actually read the article? Are you familiar with the phrase 'damning with faint praise'?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: wtf!

      Actually, since IE9 the relevant developers have been working quite hard to implement web standards but were hamstrung by backwards compatibility due to the clusterfuck that is ActiveX. Edge is the result of the realisation by management that maintaining support for that kind of stuff, that they have been actively discouraging since Vista, was not compatible with actually updating the browser.

      Where IE 8 is required it's easy enough to run a thin VM with IE 8.

  7. thomas k

    sounds nice

    still no reason to upgrade to 10, tho, speaking for myself

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The king is dead !

    "Windows 10, due in two weeks, will use Microsoft's latest browser creation: Edge"

    Long live the king !

    Microsoft has never bowed before standards before. The lip service it is paying at this point is because it no longer has any choice.

    As soon as it can, it will revert to its true nature. And we all know what that is.

    1. dogged
      Meh

      Re: The king is dead !

      With your absolute knowledge of the future, can you give me Friday's Euromillions numbers?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The king is dead !

      The IE team has been much more engaged in standards than Apple over the last few years.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        @Charlie Clark

        That is such a relief.

        On the other hand, when you're starting from nothing, it's not difficult to improve.

        Microsoft has lots of room to improve as far as respecting standards is concerned. Has everyone already forgotten the kerfuffle around the OOXML vote ?

        Apparently they have.

  9. Fred M

    "After decades of dominance through proprietary lock-in and anti-trust-busted software bundling, the monster lurking in web developer nightmares will no longer be the default browser for Windows."

    "Regrettably, since Apple doesn't allow other browser rendering engines in the App Store there will never be any real competition there."

    And yet Apple don't have to face any anti-trust action. Odd.

    As always, XKCD says is best. https://xkcd.com/1118/

    1. Def Silver badge

      That's because all anti-trust action as far as web browsers was concerned came from Opera crying about nobody using their web browser. Since they fired most of their developers and switched to Chromium, I think it's fair to say they don't give a shit any more anyway. (Which is fine, because nobody who used to use their browser gives a shit about them either these days.)

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Apple Brwosers and the App Store

      You don't have to buy an iDevice you know.

      There are plenty of alternatives from the Android world.

      Apple do not have a monopoly on smartphones. IF they did then there might be a case for an anti-trust investigation.

      On the plus side, that iDevice won't ever run flash.

      Flash or a different browser? What would really be better for the user experience?

      1. picturethis
        Alien

        Re: Apple Brwosers and the App Store

        "Apple do not have a monopoly on smartphones."

        Maybe not, but they're not doing too bad in having a monopoly of owning their customer's data, wallets and purses with their explicit consent no less! I guess (most) people will give up anything for simplicity (not having to learn or be responsible for their own actions) and consequently paying to be led around by the nose-ring Apple has inserted into them.

        I can't help but really wonder where this is all going to end.. What will Apple do when everyone in the entire world owns one of their phones (I refuse to use their model name)? They'll probably sponsor SETI so that they can be the first to sell into a new market.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Apple Brwosers and the App Store

          The iPhone has a ceiling on its market share because Apple chases only the high end market. Many will never be able to afford it, many others who can afford it will choose a cheaper option, others will never choose them because they dislike Apple, prefer Google, prefer Android, don't like the "walled garden", etc., etc. There's zero chance of the iPhone reaching even a third of the market, let alone enough to constitute what is deemed a monopoly share.

    3. JW 1

      Always this old canard

      I'm by no means an Apple fan (don't own a single device) but Microsoft was busted due to an ILLEGAL monopoly. They coerced PC vendors to sell only Windows with ONLY IE on it. And, since Windows was at one time >90% of the PC market they controlled a monopoly on OS.

      Apple, nor anyone else for that matter, has ever come close to that monopoly power. While Google may own a great deal of the search market they aren't forcing themselves on people. You can easily switch engines.

      Just stop it with the why not Apple? Apple does not hold a monopoly on anything.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Always this old canard

        Gotta love that haters will actually upvote such drivel, and downvote those who explain why it is drivel. I'm pretty sure someone could suggest nuking Apple HQ as the proper response to this and still receive upvotes from those morons.

      2. Jeff Lewis

        Re: Always this old canard

        If you're going to critique someone for their ignorance - be sure of YOUR facts first.

        There is no such a thing as an 'illegal' monopoly. Monopolies are quite legal. What is illegal, on the other hand, is the use of the power of your monopoly to distort the market unfairly or to act in a way that reduces the competitiveness of the market.

        That's what Microsoft was charged with. it was questionable then, but like it or not, that's what they were charged with. They've done their time so to speak and so it's time to let go of that one.

        Now, onto Apple. You don't have to have a monopoly in all markets. Apple has a monopoly position in music services and of all things, electronic books. No other electronic music sales company comes even close to iTunes in terms of sales - which is why Apple can demand exclusives - which distort the market.

        They were actually indicted for conspiracy for colluding with several book publishers to fix pricing on ebook sales.

        While I don't think it's likely to happen, the iPhone could become the majority phone - and because of Apple's 'ecosystem' that could easily lead to another claim of monopolistic practices. And this is where you make another mistake WRT Google: being a monopoly doesn't go away just because people 'could' switch. By that logic, Microsoft didn't have a monopoly because people 'could' have switched to Macs, or installed some other browser on Windows. Interestingly - even when given the chance to choose some other browser at first install time, most people still chose IE.

        Google isn't just a browser - it's an entire ecosystem of interlinked services. It's Android which is also linked into it. It's apps are in iOS. Once you buy into the Google system - it's not that easy to pry yourself back out... much as once you buy into the Apple ecosystem, it's hard to break free of it. That difficulty of escape also factors into whether or not a company is or has a monopoly position.

  10. swisstoni

    Forking ridiculous

    Hey I know competition is a good thing, but I do wish they'd just forked web-kit and saved us web devs the inevitable head aches to come.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Forking ridiculous

      Without multiple rendering engines the html5 standards would just become "what webkit does". Multiple engines following the same standards should keep the standards clear and sensible.

      I'm not too keen on Google taking over where IE6 left off....

  11. phil dude
    Paris Hilton

    Strange advert....

    This is a strange advert that proclaims "our new browser will be brilliant compared to our old browser, but to use it you will have to buy into our crufty, malware desktop environment".

    It is not opensource, so it cannot be trusted. It doesn't run on other platforms so why would anyone *choose* this browser unless they had no choice?

    Oh yeah. Free market. right....

    P.

    1. dogged

      Re: Strange advert....

      > It is not opensource, so it cannot be trusted.

      Neither is most of Android. Your point?

      1. phil dude
        Linux

        Re: Strange advert....

        @dogged: *most* of android...?

        Citation please.

        You will get no argument from me about Android's creepy "blobs".

        But surely an open-source browser is the absolute minimum for a sane world?

        P.

        1. dogged

          Re: Strange advert....

          Google Play. Functionality has been shifted away from "Android" and into Google Play continuously since Gingerbread. It's almost as if Google have decided that open source was a bad idea.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Strange advert....

            Hmm, you said most. Take a custom rom or AOSP and run it on the phone and you'd be hard pressed to notice any significant differences at first. SUre you won't find Google services but you can still download and run apps and the core functionality is still there, definitely not "most".

          2. RoninRodent

            Re: Strange advert....

            That is (according to them) an effort to push security fixes when phone carriers can't be bothered to deploy android updates and suggest you buy a new phone to get the latest.

            Admittedly I have not checked but it does make sense.

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: Strange advert....

              They claim that, but the real reason is quite different. By stripping Android proper of more and more functionality, it is harder for a phone OEM to go Google-free and take just Android. Google doesn't want that because they obviously don't make money giving away Android, but rake it in invading your privacy and delivering ads to you.

              They make parts of it open source, but stuff like Maps and everything related to ad delivery is closed source. Pretty sure Chrome is open source, but that's mostly irrelevant - every Android user is running closed source code written by Google that does who knows what. The fact you have source to a lot of other stuff is no more relevant than the fact that significant parts of iOS (the BSD Mach layer, not the GUI obviously) and WebKit from the browser are open source. Open source is all or nothing, once you are running a mixture you may as well be running all closed source.

        2. mmeier

          Given that 15+ year old bugs have recently been found in some much used Open Source has

          I doubt that it really matters. The "Million Eye Army" is, for a number of reasons, a myth.

          Reading other peoples code is difficult enough if the work in the same company and use the same naming/coding/documentation rules that you use. Reading other peoples code, even worse from multiple sources and standards, is something most people simply do not do.

          There is a reason most long term stable OS software is backed by a single "big player" that sets the rules and does the major contribution. And another why "we rewrote much of it" is more common in OS projects as well.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Given that 15+ year old bugs have recently been found in some much used Open Source has

            You don't need to have everyone read the code, only a few people. There will always be enough people looking at the open source parts of Android, simply due to its importance. That doesn't guarantee they find all security issues of course, but it guarantees Google can't hide anything nasty within it. It is open source software with much smaller userbases that are more of a problem, because there may not be anyone motivated to examine the code.

            1. mmeier

              Worked fine with a totally unimportant thing named X Window System

              http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/10/x_window_system_bugs/

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the same Trident crap

    Nothing to see here, move long. Download a better browser. In fact, the new browser called Vivaldi seems quite excellent despite still being in technical preview. You should check it out.

    Edge, like IE, has only one purpose: to be used to download another browser.

    I'm not impressed with the bundled Microsoft stuff e.g. Bing, Onedrive, and I sure am not impressed with the 'feature' to scribble on web pages in Edge. Microsoft always has a penchant for these exotic, non-mainstream stuff it likes to call 'innovation'. Remember Web Slices from IE7 or IE8? What was that about?

    1. mmeier

      Re: It's the same Trident crap

      OneDrive is nice. Better integrated than DropBox and easier in sharing pictures than Amazon. And with MS you are still the customer, not the trade good.

  13. dogged

    > In fact, the new browser called Vivaldi

    Is actually a fancy shell on an old browser called "WebKit" which uses hundreds of proprietary extensions and is the single biggest danger of browser monoculture.

    There, fixed that for you.

    Vivaldi is also shit and highly crashy. You forgot to mention that, AC.

    1. Aoyagi Aichou

      @dogged

      > Vivaldi is also shit

      How? It's already better than Chrome (which isn't exactly a high bar, but it's widely accepted as "pretty good")

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Vivaldi is also shit and highly crashy

      Running so much of the UI in Javascript makes it a bit slow but the usability is coming along nicely. I haven't had it crash yet.

  14. tony2heads
    WTF?

    "IE fans"

    do such people exist?

    1. dogged

      Re: "IE fans"

      No.

      In general MS products do not have fans (XBox seems to be the exception). They're just things you use to do stuff with.

      This seems impossible to grasp for those who have declared affection for other tech manufacturers or advertising bureaux but it's true. MS doesn't have fans beyond some frankly rather embarrassing idiots on wpcentral. I know that frustrates them but it's true.

      Could be worse though, Satya. You could be universally despised (note - the Reg's comment boards do not count as "universal"). Like Oracle.

      1. mmeier

        Computers and OS are tools not bands

        One chooses a tool set that does the work efficiently with the least effort and the smallest amount of different tools necessary. That can be Solaris for reliable, long term stable servers, Oracle for handling large amounts of data and reliable data replication or Windows for a desktop that runs the business and privat software with no fuss, no third party tools, no extra configuration. Or something else for whatever reasons.

        Fan(atict)s are are problem and what they praise is best avoided

  15. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Meh

    Makes a Great Gift

    It's like getting that elaborately packaged gift with nothing inside.....except an IOU.

  16. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Windows

    Edge on Win 7?

    Possible?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Edge on Win 7?

      I've been wondering about that too. I do know that Windows 8.1U1 is the end of the line here, myself. So far there's been zero uptake on the previews where I provide support. <Shrug>

    2. bobgameon

      Re: Edge on Win 7?

      I don't think so. Edge is a Universal App developed for both Phone and PC. Last I checked 7 doesn't have the UWP API's. And adding those APIs will require a major update.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 ain't done till Chrome won't run...

    It is very easy if you own the operating system to make sure your browser works faster than the opposition's browser...undocumented APIs that only your own browser can use.

    Just like the old days, in fact, "DOS ain't done till Lotus won't run"...for those with long memories.

    Now you may say that they could have speeded up IE long ago, but at that point, the main aim was to try to slow the wholesale migration of computing onto the web, leaving the PC little more than a thin client.

    Now that is irreversible, they don't mind speeding it up to keep control of the Internet entry point on PCs.

    But I'm just an old fogey, take no notice.

  18. Shane 4

    Stability and speed please

    All I care about is NOT seeing, "internet explorer has stopped working".

    Give me a stable browser that can have at least 10 tabs open without one of them crashing, And then causing the page or tab to not be able to close, Usually requiring a complete browser shutdown and restart. Damn that was annoying in IE.

    I like IE's easy layout, Firefox's functions and Chromes speed, Now merge them all into one browser. ;)

  19. Stephen Wilkinson

    Developer Tools

    Much as I hate to say it, IE's Developer Tools seem to be more useful than Chrome's these days

    1. Nick L

      Re: Developer Tools

      Interested in this - could you expand a little, please? (Not trolling, genuinely interested)

  20. Indolent Wretch

    Very early on the author says this:

    >> Developers who adhere to web standards can safely ignore Edge

    The only people who say that understand nothing about development, design, testing, customer support and almost everything else there is to know about web development.

    Given that's the case is the rest of the article even worth reading?

  21. Canadian Geek

    Wading in...

    I'm another of the old guys. My first machine was a Commodore Vic-20! (long before the interwebs creation. Yes Darpa-net etc were out there but regular people had BBS's or nothing. 1200baud baby!) I then went to a DOS PC and have followed that train for a long time. (yes I've played with UNIX and Linux too) I used Netscape before it was cool, and when it began to suck I moved on. I have bounced around the different browsers over the years and the basic truth has come to me. They are all the same. Any differences are subtle and almost unnoticeable. I uninstalled Firefox a few years ago as I tired of having to upgrade it all the time. I currently have IE and Chrome on my i7 laptop and frankly Chrome is much slower than IE on my system. Now I'm not a gamer so my browsing is on forums and university sites for the most part. So I'm definitely not a power browser (whatever in hell that would be) but frankly I don't understand all the anger heaped on a web browser! If you don't like it, cool. Move on. But bit&*ing and moaning about it all the time seems silly to me.

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