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Microsoft Brings Edge To Android and IOS ( 127

An anonymous reader writes: If you want more proof that Microsoft is embracing Android and iOS, boy, do we have it for you today. The company has launched Edge for iOS in preview, promised Edge for Android is coming soon, and launched Microsoft Launcher for Android in public preview. Edge for iOS preview is available via Apple's TestFlight and is limited, per Apple's rules, to 10,000 users. Microsoft is inviting Windows Insiders in the U.S. to sign up here. Android users can also sign up at that same link -- the preview will hit the Google Play Store in the coming weeks. Microsoft is hoping to release Edge for Android and iOS out of preview "later this year." The Microsoft Launcher is available in preview for English users in the United States on Google Play. Microsoft promises to bring it to other markets "over time" and launch it out of preview "later this year," as well.
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Microsoft Brings Edge To Android and IOS

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  • by sqorbit ( 3387991 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:44AM (#55315261)
    Any average user most likely just sticks with the browser that comes with the phone. Most "power" users won't use Edge anyway. I can't see a large base of installs on iOS or Android for this.
    • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:49AM (#55315307)
      Sure - they expect at least 80% of their current Zune-on-Android and Zune-on-iOS users to switch within the first three months.
    • The only reason I use it is I'm stuck with a windows phone and it's basically the only option. It's a massive power hog too. Just in the past 6 hours it's used 31% of the battery, even though I'm at work and only really used it over lunch. That includes 9% in background even though the option that very clearly says never allowed in background is checked.
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        Just in the past 6 hours it's used 31% of the battery, even though I'm at work and only really used it over lunch. That includes 9% in background even though the option that very clearly says never allowed in background is checked.

        You sure you didn't upgrade to iOS 11?

    • I don't know. Firefox, with all its cred on desktop computers has pretty low marketshare on Android so, if they can't even make a good dent on mobile I don't know how Microsoft could. And, differently to desktops, they don't have a dominant OS on mobile to spam people with to use Edge.
      • I don't know. Firefox, with all its cred on desktop computers has pretty low marketshare on Android

        Firefox burned its cred years ago. That's why they have one of the lowest shares of the desktop browser market, and why they're making such a huge deal out of Firefox 57.

        Since I just bashed Firefox, I feel the need to toss in a compliment: after trying the beta, it could actually meet my needs! It's not as awful as I feared, and fixes a lot of the problems Firefox has had. The only reason I'm not using it as my daily driver now is the lack of NoScript. Assuming that the port of NoScript won't lose functiona

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Thursday October 05, 2017 @12:28PM (#55315691) Homepage
      I think that, most likely, this is a sign that Microsoft is planning to push an Android phone that will come with a lot of the components replaced by Microsoft equivalents.
    • I would happily use it considering I keep getting Chrome hijacked with short battery life and a hand warmer on Android as it doesn't support extensions to block these. If Edge has extensions like ublock it would be a game changer

    • No. This is as retarded as Safari for PC.
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:48AM (#55315301) Homepage

    I don't know anyone who uses Edge on Windows, why would anyone willingly choose to download and install it on a different OS?

    • >> I don't know anyone who uses Edge on Windows

      Have any relatives who bought their own Windows laptop or tablet in the past year? You might be surprised...
      • Yes, I'm the family tech. Most new equipment comes with Chrome.

      • by c ( 8461 )

        Have any relatives who bought their own Windows laptop or tablet in the past year? You might be surprised...

        I think you'd find that they don't use Edge, they use "that button, down there".

        They count for traffic stats, but for brand building or awareness they're worthless...

      • Have any relatives who bought their own Windows laptop or tablet in the past year? You might be surprised...

        I don't know about that. I have a few non-technical friends who bought new Win 10 laptops recently, and among the first things each one of them did was to install Chrome.

        • and among the first things each one of them did was to install Chrome.

          That's all Edge is good for is as a downloader for Chrome/Vivaldi/Firefox/Opera... After 20 years of using/supporting MS products, I dumped them about 7 years ago when I retired.. Be a SUPER cold day in hell when I put an MS product on my Android phone (or ANYwhere else on my systems)...

      • Have any relatives who bought their own Windows laptop or tablet in the past year? You might be surprised...

        Yes, followed by "I want the same internet as on my old one".

        I was not surprised.

      • According to this [] not that surprised.
    • When starting with Windows 10 (have a device which won't run anything else) I tried edge for several months. It was often faster than Chrome, actually... Except when it froze hard for long periods, which would persist until I rebooted the device, even with nothing else visibly running. back to Chrome as the default browser.
      • Wow, really? I've had the exact opposite behavior with Edge. It was "stickier" than Chrome ( random, if brief, pauses during page load and scrolling ).

        Mind you, it might have had something to do with the ads that chrome didn't load that Edge did. When I tried Edge it didn't have any adblocker worth talking about. Not sure if that's changed since then.

        • There are a couple of nasty rendering bugs that cause lengthy freezes. It could be my old laptop (C2D, intel graphics) where it is expecting hardware acceleration.

          Selecting/editing text seems to intermittently make it unresponsive. Ask Cortana makes the screen awkwardly repaint.

          Hopefully the Spring creators update fixes these in a couple of weeks.

  • Nobody likes our browser? Let's make it available for more platforms that we've never really supported. That's the ticket!

    • At face value, I agree it looks silly; but knowing MS, it's probably part of some plot to control more on the other platforms. I suspect they plan some kind of tie-in or forced bundling with some other product or service they plan to release. For example, maybe MS-Office for Android/iOS will intentionally run faster or better on Edge. The current Edge releases for portables is probably just a way to get a handful users to beta-test it for them.

      • Except, under the hood every browser on iOS is Safari. That is, every browser must use Safari's rendering and javascript engines. Edge will just be a different interface on top of the same browser. So MS-Office can't run any faster on Edge versus Safari since Edge is Safari (with a different name and interface) on iOS.

        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

          Not necessarily. For example, MS could create a language FooScript for their MS-Office iOS app. Edge could have a compiled-in interpreter for FooScript while other browsers have to use a JavaScript emulator to run FooScript. If you run something that uses FooScript in Edge, it uses Edge's compiled-in interpreter, but if you run it in Safari, it runs via a slower/buggier FooScript emulator written in JavaScript because of course Safari would have no built-in FooScript emulator (at least for a few years).

          MS h

          • Isn't that against the iOS rules? I thought you weren't allowed to have an interpreter of any kind built in.

            • I wonder about this too. I've heard the same thing, but I use a personal wiki (Trunk Notes which is amazing) that has a Lua scripting engine built into it so that you can script your wiki pages. Is that different than the FooScript mentioned above?

            • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

              I don't know what Apple allows, but that was merely an example to illustrate a point. There are other computation-intensive features that can follow a similar pattern, such as a 3D graphics rendering system, sound synthesizer, neural net trainer, database/sorting engine, etc.

              It doesn't even have to be computation-intensive: it can simply be a feature/tag that Edge supports that Safari doesn't. Being computation-intensive just gives MS a better excuse to get away with it.

            • That used to be true, but at some point the rules were significantly relaxed, and now you can get fantastic apps like this one:

              Pythonista on the App Store []

              It's pretty great - you can even get GLSL code into the graphics card. I've no affiliation with it, and it's not free, but it was really worth the money.

          • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

            It's completely impractical. iOS does not allow JIT for 3rd-party apps. There's nothing MS could do to provide a well-performing scripting language.

    • maybe they want even more people to not like their browser
  • The way Micro$oft usually works isn't embrace usually followed by extinguish?
    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
      Microsoft doesn't make software for $PLATFORM:
      M$ is evil! Vendor Lock-In!!

      Microsoft does make software for $PLATFORM:
      M$ is evil! Embrace Extend Extinguish!
  • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Informative)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:52AM (#55315337)
    Whatever browser comes out for iOS means it's rendered internally via WebKit.
    • Exactly. What's the point of using any other browser in iOS?

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        Probably things like bookmark and tab sharing
        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

          Probably things like bookmark and tab sharing

          Does anyone actually do this? It's a serious question. I can't imagine having my desktop tabs and bookmarks used on a phone. In fact, one of the things I like most about a phone browser is the fact that I get a "light" mobile web page in some instances. In others, the sites are largely useless.

          • I do, but in a different way. I don't use the bookmarking system built into any browser. I run a bookmark server myself, so no matter what browser I'm using, or where I'm using it, I always have my bookmarks available.

      • So Microsoft can spy on you instead of Apple?
    • by negated ( 981743 )

      Source: []

      "As is often the case with mobile browsers, the new browsers are Edge in name only. They provide a user interface that looks quite Edge-like, and they sync with your Microsoft Account, but they don't use the Edge rendering engine from the PC. On iOS, the browser wraps the WebKit browser engine from Safari. This is essentially unavoidable on that platform, as Apple's rules preclude the development of third-party browser engines. On Android, where the rules do permit t

    • I think you're confusing this with JavaScript. Yes it shares Safari JavaScript but there is no technical reason to not port the HTML and CSS layout code

  • by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:54AM (#55315365) Homepage

    I'm sorry Microsoft, what did I do to deserve this?

    • O! FictionPimp!! Ye were the Foremost of the Moon Dynasty in thy prior birth.

      Ye were the son of Jaya and Malini, the noblest of the Royals who ruled Pancahsheel

      When ye were young, you used a needle and tortured a beetle needlessly. That beetle cursed you to be born 77 times and suffer torture in each life. That continues.

      Thy shall go to Benares, the fairest of all cities, and pray to Maheshwara on the banks of Ganges, and thy sin will be absolved and you will suffer no more!

    • I'm sorry Microsoft, what did I do to deserve this?

      I don't know but I hope they use lube!

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:57AM (#55315387)

    Nothing wrong with releasing software, but it needs a reason for existence. When Chrome was released for Windows, the point was speed, minimalistic UI and automatic, hassle free updates. Will Edge automatically reformat desktop pages for mobile? Will Microsoft launcher automatically synchronize apps and widgets across devices? If not, they are wasting a lot of time for user base that will not be significant enough for business.

    • Sometimes I think I'm on a different planet than everyone else. You think your subject line is a rhetorical question with no answer, and I think it's easy to answer (but no, I don't think Microsoft is able to address the situation).

      So why does Android need another browser/launcher? Because the existing ones are lameass! They are ad-company-centric instead of user-centric. Firefox is the only one of 'em that blocks bullshit worth a damn, and we don't even know how long that one will be around and after ever

  • by iTrawl ( 4142459 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @11:58AM (#55315403)

    I'm not up to speed, but isn't every browser on iOS just a wrapper around UIWebView/WKWebView? The only reason for Microsoft to release "Edge" is for exposure.

    But... all is not lost. There's an up side as for a user: having several Safaris around to group tabs by interest is actually useful.

    • I'm just wondering whether the Android version will actually be Edge compiled for Android or if it will just be a skin around Chrome / Android WebView.

      • The summary should have linked to Microsoft's blog []

        They mention Blink. So it'll be bug-for-bug compatible with upstream Chromium.

        This could be a cross-platform porting strategy for MS: develop a browser skin by embedding Blink and V8. Write a shim around EdgeHTML and ChakraCore to conform to the Chromium embedding API. Gradually replace the non MS code with their own. And as far as JavaScript, they've been working on Node for Chakra already.

    • Exactly. The name and interface might be Edge, but underneath it's all Safari.

    • The only reason for Microsoft to release "Edge" is for exposure.

      It has already been exposed as a criminal organization. With this, it will be exposed as a pathetic criminal organization.

    • The only reason for Microsoft to release "Edge" is for exposure.

      Not quite. It's about synchronisation too. That's one of the reasons I use Chrome on Android even though it's by all accounts slower than Samsung's own browser from what I can tell, I get my desktop bookmarks and history automatically synchronised.

      I can see this push of Edge onto the mobile platforms as a way to promote Edge on Windows with seamless integration, ... assuming they have it... and I sure as hell won't bother testing it.

  • If they want Edge usage to grow and it ever being popular they had to do this since their mobile OS totally floundered.
    I wish they also had hard competition on the desktop, maybe then they would have to reverse course on some of the stupid things they did with Windows 10.
  • Why? Are there really people who are going to use it?

  • by Groo Wanderer ( 180806 ) <> on Thursday October 05, 2017 @12:04PM (#55315475) Homepage

    One good thing is that Google lists number of downloads for an app. It will be interesting to compare results on a platform where the use of a browser is not forced and it is uninstallable. Once there is a number posted, and after a few months you can subtract out the number of MS employees, you should get an idea of how many hundred people are masochists with no regard for security. I am betting less than 10K.

  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @12:06PM (#55315487) Homepage Journal

    A limit of 10,000 users for all the Edge users on Android should be plenty.

  • Will we have to start using it to install Chrome on those platforms too?

  • they will corrupt them and rot them from the inside,

    microsoft is going to have to keep and hold a nice long track record of benevolence and goodwill rather than the corporate bullying & greed they have had for the last 20 years before i change my mind about them,
  • I use Edge on Win10. I do also have Chrome, Firefox, and Opera installed. With Opera being my fallback browser on the super rare occasion Edge fails me. The only time Edge failed me was actually the website checking for the browser type and just displaying a "not supported" message instead. I wonder if Edge would have done fine or not with that site. On mobile, the articles say that mobile Edge is a wrapper around the native browser SDKs with Microsoft services added. That's fine to me. That means it'll
    • That's one thing I always noticed when I was using Windows Phone. It was fast even on less expensive hardware. My Windows Phone was the Blu Win HD LTE with 1 GB RAM and Snapdragon 410, but even with so little memory it was very responsive. Android could learn a few things from Microsoft in this regard.

  • Nobody uses Edge on Windows, so why would anyone use it on Android or IOS? I can back up my claim: I work at a Microsoft shop, and everyone here uses IE (for corporate stuff that doesn't work in Edge, Chrome, or FF) or they use Chrome. Our Microsoft Premier support rep doesn't use Edge. My parents got a new Windows 10 computer, and after complaining about the browser I told them to install Chrome.

    Edge has all the problems that Windows 8 had. It is a desktop browser, but it works like a tablet browser.

    • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

      it is, technologically, better than IE. It has better support for web standards and is much faster.

      Those two sentences are in direct opposition to everything else you said earlier (unresponsive, locks up, buggy) which also explains your initial sentence

      Nobody uses Edge on Windows

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

        Those sentences are not in opposition to each other. Perhaps you are not a native English speaker? Permit me to explain. I assume your confusion is because of the words "faster" and "unresponsive." "Faster" refers to speed, whereas "unresponsive" refers to latency. Imagine that I click a button, and it gives me the result quickly. But then if I click another button, it takes a long time before it responds to my button press. The first is speed, the second is latency.

        In the case of Edge, Edge is faste

  • Hahahhaha Ha Ha Ha Haaahahahahahaah! Hahahhaha Ha Ha Ha Haaahahahahahaah!
    Hahahhaha Ha Ha Ha Haaahahahahahaah! Hahahhaha Ha Ha Ha Haaahahahahahaah! Hahahhaha Ha Ha Ha Haaahahahahahaah!
    Really why?
    Hahahhaha Ha Ha Ha Haaahahahahahaah!
    I guess someone had some spare budget for programmers and they had to give them something to do for busywork...

    • They couldn't even get the people on the Microsoft campus to use their phones so now they are trying to get them to at least use their browser on the competitors phones.

  • No thank you. My primary browser is Ghostery. Other browsers that get occasional use on my phone are Dolphin, Chrome. My android tablet has those and also has Firefox, Chrome Beta, Opera, and Samsungs Internet browser.

    I have enough browsers. Never used Edge, never want to.

  • If they want Android adoption, put it first.
  • I have not looked into it recently but for loooong time Apple would not allow anything in the app store that rendered web pages with something other than their own APIs.

    So you could install another browser but it was essentially just a different UI on IOS-Webkit. Has something changed?

    Is Apple going to allow Microsoft to actually release this in the app store, or is this really just and "Edge UI" wrapped around the native web view APIs?

  • So, Americans in the US won't have access to it?
  • Why would you want a Microsoft skin around the Safari browser widget rather than an Apple or Google or Firefox skin?
    What will Edge give you that the others dont when they are all using the same browser engine?

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant