Why aren’t developers familiar with the new Microsoft Edge?


I realize there are developers out there that know about the new Microsoft Edge, but my experience is quite the opposite. I work in a software/web development group for a company, and I’m amazed that my peers aren’t familiar with the new Chromium-based Edge. We are very much a Microsoft shop (Visual Studio, O365, Azure, etc.), but I’m always having to explain to them that there’s new version of Edge, and that it’s not the same as what they know about legacy Edge or IE. (We all know devs hate them and use Chrome as the standard.) I explain to them that the new Edge is based on Chromium – so it’s basically the same as Chrome but without the Google bits, and that the developer tools is even the same or better with Visual Studio. They say “cool” but don’t even bother to check it out, and continue to use Chrome for their development and debugging. Even my friend, who works for a different company, had the same reaction. Now, I wouldn’t expect regular users to know the difference, but web developers…come on. I understand old habits are hard to change, but it seems like they should at least know about the new Edge and what it is. Am I expecting too much of them? Anyone else have a similar experience?

Comments (10)

10 responses to “Why aren’t developers familiar with the new Microsoft Edge?”

  1. rkpatrick

    I've preferred MS browsers as my primary development platform (for web apps) until Edge. Originally, my problem with it was that it was too unstable (and it's hard to overstate this...it was a nightmare when it came out). But also, I think the dev tools panel took a step back in usability with Edge; a lot more clicking just for simple things like changing a watch...it's like the UI widgets are incompletely emulating the Windows widgets.

    Then came Chromium Edge. Hideous performance. Just hideous (I've sent SO many negative feedbacks to MS over this version of Edge...it's almost as bad as the early crash builds). I typically run Edge with 3-4 windows, one of which has a tab streaming video, and maybe 10-15 total tabs. At this point, the UI latency becomes unusable. It takes so long between clicking on a tab or window and the tab/window actually taking focus that I have to kill the 20-30(!!!) msedge.exe processes and start over with browsing. If I can't count on Edge to perform predictably and quickly in normal usage, why would I want to test my own app on it?

    • matsan

      In reply to rkpatrick:

      I just have to chime in. As a Front-end developer on macOS I have tried Edge for Mac as a replacement for Chrome. With Chrome I can work all day without any issues. 10-20 tabs open, multiple DevTools and tons of stuff going on. With Edge, I see a steady increase in memory usage until the browser needs a restart to be responsive again.

      As a developer working with Sencha Ext JS framework, I work most with SPA (Single Page Applications) that are heavy with JavaScript (1,8 - 2,5 MB minimized) and multiple window and tabs. Here I initially had hopes for Edge since it is significantly faster than Chrome when debugging things like opening of modal dialog boxes in the SPA. Chrome with the DevTools open is dog slow when closing a window with multiple pickers and comboboxes. However, Chrome's debugger probably reclaims memory from collecting debugger data whereas the DevTools in Edge doesn't do that and slowly getting slower.

      As a side not I don't like that everything in Edge's DevTools is bigger. Seems like Microsoft changed the font-size in DevTools. On the Network tab I can fit 16 request lines (with Large Request Rows enabled to get the bits on the wire) but only 14 in Edge with the same window size. Same with Sources tab - 70 lines in Chrome vs 58 in Edge. Stuff like this is annoying - I have a high-res screen to be able to actually fit more stuff, so please stop scaling to make things bigger.

  2. luthair

    What makes you think Edges devtools are any different from Chromes?

    For users to care the new product needs to be a generational leap forward and since Edge is just Chrome in Microsofts lipstick no one is going to care any more than they did about old Edge or IE.

    • jackwagon

      In reply to luthair:

      It's kind of tragicomic in a sense: First, developers didn't care about Edge because it wasn't Chrome, now they don't care about Edge because it's too much like Chrome.

  3. darkgrayknight

    I've seen similar, mostly from devs that never had to deal with Netscape vs IE, when IE was actually the better browser as Netscape became bloated and did not use actual standards. Then after the flip when Microsoft let IE languish and become the worst of browsers, many a developer hated Microsoft and trying to make things work in IE. I'm not sure why, but the hatred seems to still be there and if a developer can ignore IE/Legacy Edge/Chredge they will as much as possible. I've never had that luxury, as most places I've worked required it to work in IE and now in Edge. I see others have had many an issue with even Chromium Edge, but I haven't noticed any big issues and moved to it as my main browser as soon as possible.

    I don't understand the push back against Microsoft's Edge and the Dev tools. Microsoft has made great tools for developers and really has jumped into making Chromium Edge a great environment for developing web applications.

    I've also noticed trends with more recent developers not as interested in technology like earlier developers were in the 90's. So maybe that is part of why there is less interest in trying other ways of developing or debugging.

  4. garethb

    The whole point (I thought) of [Chr]Edge was that developers don't have to test on it, that the test that they most likely already do for Chrome will be sufficient.

    As much as you (and I) might like Edge for various reasons, most are not going to care less. The market for websites is dominated by Chrome and Safari, whether it works in some Chrome knock-off is not really their concern.

    • darkgrayknight

      In reply to GarethB:

      Most likely the main point was to not have to spend time writing and rewriting the browser string to pretend to be a Chrome like browser (and also to not have to keep up a separate browser engines).

      What is interesting to me is that while Microsoft is known for being fairly developer focused, many developers have decided to ignore Microsoft's browser even though there are improvements being made to Chromium (those improvements are being eventually pushed to Chrome, so there is that going for Chrome users) Edge.

  5. TechnologyTemperance

    My hypothesis on [Chr]Edge was always that it was an enterprise play. As MSFT saw enterprises adopting Chrome / allowing their users to switch, this was their move to try to get those folks back. A combination between Group Policy Integration / Control + Chrome-like compatibility would position them better to regain share in that space.

  6. matsan

    Since answering in this thread I have started to use Edge for my daily JavaScript development. The debugger is soooo much faster, saving me much time in each run/debug cycle. I only use Edge for a couple of development tabs and can afford restarting the browser three or four times a day when the memory has been exhausted since I only use it for the pages I am working on. All other tabs are running in Chrome.

    My latest project has dropped support for IE so I can use Chrome, (Chromium) Edge and Safari. Code compatibility between these three is excellent with the only noticeable difference is font rendering (using Material theme) so they are not pixel-perfect.

  7. jerry_maguire

    Over the last few months, they’ve worked to support that community with improvements like DevTools localization in 10 new languages, which has been adopted by many of you as you develop for Microsoft Edge. Now, they’re excited to highlight new tools that empower you, the developers who make the web possible, while expanding your canvas so you can reach your customers in more ways than ever before.

    Last year, they pushed WebView2 forward with a preview for Win32 development. WebView2 lowers the barrier for developers to maximize code reuse across platforms with a consistent web platform to host web content in their apps. They’d like to thank everyone that has engaged with us so far throughout the preview—the contributions and feedback they’ve received drive our feature roadmap and quality.

    They’re expanding the preview with new options for .NET and UWP (WinUI 3.0) development, enabling you to embed a Chromium-based Edge WebView in WinForms, WPF, and UWP (WinUI 3.0) applications.

    So overall it is a good experience for web developers.


    Jerry M.