Since 2011, I have been using Chrome as my main browser. It gave me everything I wanted from a browser. It had really good extensions I can’t live without nowadays, and was quite fast & used less ram than Firefox at the time. While that was nice while it lasted, few things happened in the last 2 years that made me not like it much. I have gotten sick of the changes the developers tend to force on people, like making search history appear before URLs whenever I type anything in the omnibar (they originally had a flag that disable that, which they removed later). I also dislike the tab hover bubbles, which chrome shows every time I hover the cursor above the tabs (again, they gave us a flag to disable this feature, only for them to remove it later, are you seeing the pattern here?). I also don’t like the Popup that tries to push me to use PWA every time I get into a site that supports it. It’s a popup that has no “Got it” button and no way to make it stop appearing besides closing. It just keeps on appearing every now and then, hoping that I will give in and use this worthless feature. Nagging the user like that is never good in my opinion, and Google seems to love doing that to market their products (would you like a 1-month trial of YouTube premium?). In addition to all that, I don’t like Google itself & how they keep on harvest my data in general, and so I am trying to use their products the least I could. For all these reasons, I have been looking for an alternative for Chrome. One of the candidates I considered was Microsoft Edge, which is also based on Chromium. I tried it for some time, but it ended up worse than Chrome in my opinion. So I reverted back to Chrome before trying some other browser (I am currently happy with Brave, and it seems like it’s going to be my main browser in the foreseeable future).
So, in this article, I am going to list the main reasons I didn’t like Microsoft Edge. There aren’t many reasons really, but they are more than enough to get me to stay away from it, as much as I can.
Quickly go to:-
Just like Google can be forceful with their attempts to make me use YouTube premium or PWA apps. Microsoft is even worse. They try to push me to use Edge by nudging me to make/keep it my default browser. I am fully aware Microsoft isn’t the first one to adopt these tactics, and companies are increasingly doing them (which makes me try to avoid the products made by such companies). But I think Microsoft has gone the extra mile when it comes to this. Some of the things they do are:-
- The default PDF reader tends to revert to Edge multiple of times. Until it settled to Sumatra PDF, my choice of PDF reader.
- Every time I change the default application for opening a certain type of files. I have to do 2-3 clicks just to get to the browse option, all that while setting Microsoft Edge to open the file is one click away. I am pretty sure that was done on-purpose.
- Whenever I try to change my default browser from the default apps dialog in the settings app, Microsoft uses dark patterns to hopefully stray me away from that. I thought dark patterns are only used by scam artists & the like.
- If Edge is pinned to the taskbar, which happens by default when you install Windows, a popup appears whenever you use another browser. Prompting you to try Edge. Luckily, you can disable that behavior by unpinning Edge from the taskbar.
From what I hear, Microsoft is now pushing it harder on Windows 11. Behavior like that would make me stick to Windows 10 for the time being.
After using it for some time, I have gotten sincerely tired of Edge disabling some of my extensions on its own. I installed these extensions because I want to use them, and it’s not the same thing Chrome does where it prompts me to uninstall certain extensions because they are harmful, but just because it was sideloaded or didn’t come from Edge Add-Ons website. It’s not my choice that the extensions I really liked weren’t submitted there. Edge should just respect my choices when it comes to the extensions I use.
So, if you defined a custom search engine, which is something I do for all the main sites I use. That setting won’t be synced to my other computers that has Edge installed. Even worse, every time I start using it on a new computer, I have to redefine them all over. Chrome & Brave could easily sync search engines, so why not Edge? This makes Microsoft Edge much less useful for me than any browser that supports that.
If you’re a fan of Firefox, you may be wondering why I didn’t jump to Firefox. It may not be based on Chromium, but it’s popular and has many extensions made for it, including most of the popular ones. Well, from what I see, Firefox seems to be going downhill lately. At least when it comes to the things I care about in a browser. It shows more popups than Chrome & Edges combined, and rather than updating itself silently, it nags me about it, and every time I launch it and there’s an update, I will have to wait for it to install the update. The management doesn’t seem to respect the users too. For one, it doesn’t respect your choice not to be prompted about making it your default browser. Well, they do, but only for 5 weeks before asking you again, hoping you will change your mind somehow. Despite all that, I use Firefox as my secondary browser right now, at least until I find another browser to replace it with. That being said, It will be sad to end up leaving Firefox, seeing how it was my savior from Internet Explorer back in 2005 back when I originally knew about it. It’s the one that made tabbed browsing popular after Opera introduced them, but I guess most products end up becoming worse at some point in their life cycle.
It’s quite a shame that such a fast & light browser like Microsoft Edge ends up being one of the worst ever in my opinion. Maybe I am a bit specific in my needs, but I don’t think I am asking much from my browser. I just want a browser that’s not nosy, doesn’t have to show me a popup for every little thing they introduce, and more importantly, I want a browser that respects my choices, for that I am the actual user of the browser, and it should serve me first & foremost, and not to prioritize the company that made it (Not that I am totally against that, but a line should be drawn somewhere).