Microsoft claims that as of a new release this week, its Edge browser will be the "best performing browser on Windows 10." The announcement was made at the company's annual Build developer conference, being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When Edge version 91 releases, it will include two new features in startup boost and sleeping tabs that should boost performance. Startup boost makes the browser launch more quickly. Microsoft says "core" Microsoft Edge processes will run in the background and won't need more resources when you add additional Windows. This should, Microsoft says, make for far faster launching.
The second feature, "sleeping tabs" sounds like it will address a bigger issue in the browser market. It aims to boost performance of the browser by "freeing up system resources from unused tabs," including putting ads to sleep in background tabs. This month, Microsoft intends to enhance the feature to allow for up to 82% memory savings, per its internal testing using preview builds of the browser.
Since last year's Build, Microsoft has made more than 5,300 commits to the open-source Chromium project, so that other browsers using the project can also see improvements made to Edge. Microsoft has also added a Progressive Web Apps, or "PWAs" build on Edge to the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft Edge is taking on an increasingly important role as part of Windows 10. Microsoft is retiring Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022, for most versions of the operating system. At Build, the company is pushing developers to transition away from IE11 websites and apps, though Edge's Internet Explorer mode is expected to last through at least 2029.
At Build, Microsoft will discuss the WebView2 embedded web control and Edge in a session about apps for hybrid work, while the Edge team will also have a session to take questions directly from attendees.
Other Windows-based announcements include the ability to use Windows Terminal as the default emulator, along with a "Quake mode" to open a new terminal with a keyboard shortcut. Additionally, there will be GUI app support on the Windows Subsystem for Linux. More will be announced at Build throughout the week.