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.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web:
- Edge Canary now gives you the option to open Office files in the browser [Neowin]
Microsoft is testing a feature that will allow you to open Office documents in the Edge web browser rather than downloading them. It’s sort of like how Chrome already handles PDFs, but for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.
- Introducing adaptive notification requests in Microsoft Edge [Windows Blogs]
Microsoft Edge introduces “adaptive notification requests,” which will only show you pop-ups asking you to allow notifications for sites where a reasonably percentage of visitors have clicked that option. Otherwise, notification requests will be silent.
- Chromebooks outsold Macs worldwide in 2020, cutting into Windows market share [GeekWire]
Chromebooks outsold Macs in 2020 according IDC. But Google’s gain is Microsoft’s loss – Windows market share fell to 80.5 percent while Chrome OS rose to 10.8 percent (macOS rose to 7.5 percent). Hard to say if this trend will continue post-pandemic.
- Chromebooks get an education refresh [Google Education Blog]
Google says more than 40 new Chromebooks are coming, including “many” that are convertibles with touchscreen displays, stylus support, and dual cameras. A new screen recorder tool is also coming to Chrome OS in March, designed with teachers in mind.
- More phones on Fi, more choices for you [Google Fi]
Google Fi adds the Moto G Play, Mooto G Power and Motorola One 5G Ace to its lineup, with starting prices ranging from $99 to $279.
- 31.2 inch E Ink Color display [E Ink]
Now you can buy a 31.2 inch color E Ink display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and support for displaying 4096 colors. It’ll just cost you $2300 (which is $800 more than a monochrome version).
- Yep, Nothing bought Essential [@getpaid]
Following reports from earlier this week, OnePlus founder Carl Pei has confirmed that his new company “Nothing” has acquired trademarks from the now-defunct Essential Products, but has no plans to release Essential-branded items.
- Tiny Core Linux v12 release notes [Tiny Core Linux]
Tiny Core Linux v12.0 released, with Linux kernel 5.10.3 and other updated packages. This lightweight Linux distribution is available for download with images as small as 11 MB.
- Adding HEVC/H.265 support for NXP’s i.MX 8M [Collabora]
Collabora has added initial support for H.265 video decoding on NXP i.MX8M chips using the VeriSilicon Hantro Codec.
- Panasonic Updates Fully Rugged 2-in-1 Toughbook 33 [press release]
Panasonic launches updated ToughBook 33 rugged 2-in-1 tablet with a 12 inch, 2160 x 1440 pixel display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C improved camera, and Intel Comet Lake chips with vPro (Core i5-10310U or Core i7-10810U.
Panasonic launches updated ToughBook 33 rugged 2-in-1 tablet with a 12 inch, 2160 x 1440 pixel display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C improved camera, and Intel Comet Lake chips with vPro (Core i5-10310U or Core i7-10810U. https://t.co/rabHmdWdZw pic.twitter.com/xmjHVdq9vx
— Liliputing (@liliputingnews) February 17, 2021