Greg asked: “I was trying to decide which is the best browser to use. I’ve got Edge, Firefox and Internet Explorer. I was trying to see what’s the improvement on Edge over Internet Explorer 11? I’m using them all, but hardly ever use Edge. It hardly works on my websites and I go back to Internet Explorer 11. Wanted to see if you had any suggestions on that.”
Greg, Edge is meant to be a whole new browser built from the ground up, not an update of Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, that means you’re right, some sites don’t work with Edge.
What you do get is support of extensions, Cortana integration, and a browser that was built with security in mind.
Still, we’d probably recommend other browsers about Edge. Chrome, which seems to be the only popular one you’re not already using, has been doing seamless updates for a long time now. You don’t really see any changes, but the browser does security updates in the background regularly to keep you safe.
Firefox is pretty good about updates too, though you do hear about them before they install.
Both of those browser will work with just about every site on the internet.
IE11 has to deal with the failure of the previous Internet Explorer versions that came before it, but it’s still an actively supported browser and will remain so until Windows 10 reaches the end of its life cycle, and that won’t be a for a few years.
As long as you’re sticking to an updated, modern browser, you should be good. Any of the choices you’re using is valid, we’re just recommend you also give Chrome a try, since it’s a solid browser too.
And given that Edge and Internet Explorer share the same rendering engine, it’s odd that websites work with the latter but not the former. It’s possible this behavior could be explained by Microsoft’s decision announced last year to begin phasing out support for the Adobe Flash Player in its Edge browser.
If a website indicates to the browser that it’s an HTML5 capable website, then Edge will simply refuse to play Flash content, sticking with the HTML5 instead. And if a website just serves up Flash, Edge will block it and require that the user click a button to enable flash support on this website.
Apple’s Safari browser does the same thing on Macs. We said all this to bring up the question of whether it might be a good thing that Edge isn’t working with these sites. If it is indeed the support for Adobe Flash Player that is causing the sites not to work, you might want to keep in mind that security vulnerabilities in flash content are so common that Adobe itself has discontinued the product and recommends that websites not use it.
Chrome, which we mentioned a minute ago, has support for flash content built into the browser in a more secure fashion, so it’s safer than using the external player extension, however even Chrome has started to make users assent to flash content before it is displayed.