Now that Microsoft’s Edge web browser is based on Google’s open source Chromium project, it behaves a lot like Google’s Chrome browser… and for the most part that’s left me wondering why you’d use Edge instead of Chrome.

Microsoft has been adding features that help set its browser apart, but up until now I haven’t found them compelling enough to switch. But two new features that are coming soon may be enough to make me give Edge a try.

One is called adaptive notification requests, and it could mean users will see far fewer pop-ups from websites asking if they’d like to allow the browser to send notifications for that page. The other is support for viewing Office documents in the browser simply by clicking a link, no downloads required. I’ve found myself doing this regularly with PDFs in recent years, and rarely do I open up a standalone PDF viewer anymore. I would love to be able to treat Office documents the same way.

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  1. And Microsoft Edge offers to translate (right away, or “always”) foreign language websites, depending on your Non-Foreign language.
    Handy, but I prefer translate.yandex.com to offer translations and provide 2 || parallel columns of original/English.

  2. The other is support for viewing Office documents in the browser simply by clicking a link, no downloads required. I’ve found myself doing this regularly with PDFs in recent years, and rarely do I open up a standalone PDF viewer anymore. I would love to be able to treat Office documents the same way.

    There are already Chrome extensions for viewing MS Office files in the browser.

    Google’s works offline and is installed by default on Chrome OS:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/office-editing-for-docs-s/gbkeegbaiigmenfmjfclcdgdpimamgkj

    Microsoft has its own Office extension which should work similarly and may be the basis for the new Edge feature:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/office/ndjpnladcallmjemlbaebfadecfhkepb

  3. I have 2 Chromebooks, a Mac desktop and a Macbook, a Linux desktop and a Linux laptop, but only 1 traditional PC running Windows. Most of the time I use a Chromebook over the others out of convenience. It’s reasonably small and light, it powers on as soon as I open the cover, boots up and connects to my wifi in less than 10 seconds. The battery lasts more than 8 hours. And it cost less than $200 brand new. That’s $800 cheaper than the so-called Ultrabooks.

  4. Didn’t know Chromebooks were selling so much outside the ones being forced onto students/teachers through “deals” with Google. They’re still not for me though. Don’t see myself buying one.

    1. Same. I had 1 Chromebook some years ago. It sucked. I eventually recycled it. Never looking back.

  5. I would love the display, IF it were a monitor type display. But it seems to be for signage (it literally seems to work with a slideshow program according to the manual. I think it MIGHT work as a monitor with the lvds board but that’s not mentioned in the manual so who knows what the refresh rate is like. Also you need the driving board which is an extra 500 or 600 dollars (600 for the LVDS), so it’s 2300, plus 600, PLUS tax.

    While I could potentially justify 2300 as a long term work investment (easier to read, use screens a lot, blah blah blah, 3000+ right now is too rich for my blood.