Chromium version of Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 desktop
Microsoft

Microsoft’s Edge browser is getting better privacy controls, an Internet Explorer Mode, collections for organizing web research, and even a Mac version. Microsoft announced these features at Build 2019, where it also announced a new Windows Terminal.

These features are coming to the new version of Edge based on Chromium, which forms the basis of Google Chrome. Microsoft released beta builds of Edge with a Chromium engine just under a month ago. Despite being a beta, it’s a pretty solid browser. Microsoft does benefit from underlying work that comes with Chromium, but the company is working hard to leave its mark on the browser. That fact is evident with new upcoming features announced today: collections, a better privacy dashboard, built-in Internet Explorer for Enterprise users, and a Mac version of the browser.

Collections Are Like OneNote for Your Browser

New Collections feature in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft

Collections help with web research. You can quickly grab pictures and text from multiple tabs and pull all the information together in one place. Once you’ve gathered the data, you can view it in Edge, export it to Word or Excel, send the collection as an email, or copy its contents to the clipboard so you can use it in any other application.

The Privacy Dashboard Provides Easy Controls

Privacy dashboard options, with Balanced selected
Microsoft

Every site is tracking your browsing habits, and many companies continue to monitor you even after you leave that company’s website. It’s hard to tell when that’s happening, and if you don’t like all that tracking, you have to delve through plenty of settings to prevent as much of it as you can.

Edge’s upcoming Privacy Dashboard aims to solve just that problem. With it, you’ll choose from three levels of tracker blocking: strict, balanced, and unrestricted. All three levels block malicious tracking, but the different options may block or allow trackers and ads from websites you have and haven’t visited. On Balanced mode, for example, Edge will block trackers from sites you haven’t visited but will allow show ads from sites you’ve visited.

Enterprise Users Get Built-In Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer mode inside Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft

Internet Explorer isn’t a browser most people should be using, but some organizations still need it around. For Enterprise users, Microsoft says it will build IE directly into Edge. If your workplace has an old web application that requires Internet Explorer, you currently have to open IE just for that website and use another browser, like Chrome or Edge, for other websites.

In an upcoming build of Windows 10, Enterprise Users can rely on Edge alone. When the browser detects a site that listed as only working in Internet Explorer, it will automatically open Internet Explorer mode in an Edge tab and display the site correctly. No need to switch browsers, or remember what browser to use.

Edge for Mac is Coming

Microsoft Edge on MacOS
Microsoft

Microsoft wants to be everywhere. Just look at the number of apps it’s created for both iPhone and Android for proof. Browsers are no exception, and making the jump to Chromium means Edge can fairly easily be delivered for Mac. If you prefer to use one browser across all your platforms, soon you’ll be able to use Edge on Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, and macOS.

The company didn’t show much today, but the few screenshots it provided looked comparable to what we’ve seen in Windows 10. And, as we know, Microsoft is even bringing the new Edge to Windows 7.

Unfortunately, everything announced today is “coming soon.” But, whether you’re a home user or someone who has to support Internet Explorer in a workplace, all these features look promising.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code.
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