by Graham Pierrepoint
Poor old Microsoft – well, we say that – they obviously ignited the home computer boom and its hugely popular and accessible Windows platform paved the way for business and entertainment growth the world over. Multi-billionaire and the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, will also tell you that they’ve had more than a good run. However, there are a few markets they never really seem to convert on. The Xbox took time to really compete with the Sony Playstation. The Zune never made a scratch on the iPod. As for Microsoft Groove – it’s now been retired completely, with music streaming goliath Spotify having truly eaten up the market (though Deezer and Pandora still have their millions of fans, too).
One thing that Microsoft has never been too popular for – but has never stopped pushing – is internet browsers. Internet Explorer set the standard for millions of PC owners back in the day but it has since been outpaced by quicker, more flexible programs and apps such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. For Apple fans, too, there’s always been Safari – and while IE bit the dust some time ago, Microsoft’s newest browser, Edge, has never really – well – had that competitive edge.
However, Gates and co are now looking to appeal to cross-platform usership. Until now, Edge users have been unable to sync and re-use tabs, bookmarks and other content on mobile versions of the browser if they have been using, say, an Android or iOS device. That, however, is set to change. Mobile versions of the browser are in fact built on open source code used for Chrome – known as Chromium – as these portable versions will rather be known as Edge in name only. However, it will mean that those using the browser on Windows PCs, laptops or Surfaces will be able to finally share certain data and take it away with them. Allowing the software to be used on Apple and Android products is yet another move from Microsoft that has been seen as somewhat inclusive and collaborative – having previously made their Office standards available on third party devices, too.
So therefore – if you genuinely use and love Microsoft Edge, but own an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy model, you’ll now be able to sync certain data – it’s early days, but well worth keeping an eye on. For fans of Edge, it’s more than about time – in the face of advancements largely led by Chrome and Firefox.