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Edge vs. Chrome: Is Microsoft’s web browser really faster?

If you’re a regular user of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers, we have some good news for you. New improvements were recently rolled out for the Edge browser and updates are in the works for Chrome, and we think you’re going to like the changes quite a bit.

Both Microsoft Edge and Chrome were built using Chromium, and while Chrome has historically been the more popular browser option, Edge is quickly, well, edging up to the competition. It’s currently the second most popular browser option — falling just behind (you guessed it) Google Chrome — and new updates may make it a stiff competitor for the top spot. RELATED: How to choose your favorite web browser.

Let’s take a look at the recent and upcoming changes to Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge and how these moves could change your browsing experience.

Recent improvements to Microsoft Edge

Memory use reduction and faster speeds

One update that was recently rolled out for Edge is meant to reduce memory usage by this browser, which will, in turn, improve the overall performance of your device. This Edge updated rolled out with Windows 10 May 2020 update, and according to the browser’s principal PM manager, Kim Denny, those with the Edge browser are seeing a memory usage reduction of up to 27% — which is a massive reduction.

“Individual device performance will vary based upon configuration and usage,” according to Denny, “but the lower memory usage is expected to create a better experience.”

Expanded usage for Windows 7 & 8 users

If you want to switch your browser to Microsoft Edge but are using an older version of Windows, it hasn’t been easy to do. Until now, anyway: the new changes to Edge allow the browser to be rolled out to Windows 8 and unsupported Windows 7 machines. Note: you should consider investing in a newer version now that Microsoft is no longer offering support for older versions.

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The downside is that Microsoft hasn’t made the update available for enterprise devices. The upside is that Microsoft isn’t forcing you to use the browser if you don’t want to — you’ll get access to the updates, but the Edge browser will simply be pinned to the taskbar and added as a shortcut to the desktop.

The updates won’t change your default browser or replace Explorer. If you want to replace your default browser with Edge, the option is there, but it’s certainly not a requirement with the new update.

Other changes

There are a few other updates that rolled out in conjunction with the ones outlined above, including a significant facelift to the extensions store which makes it easier to navigate. The redesign is built to improve the overall discovery and usability, Microsoft said in a blog post.

There were also updates made to Edge features and security measures, putting the browser on the same level as Chrome.

And, speaking of Chrome…

Upcoming changes to Google Chrome

Reduced memory usage and better performance

If you use Google Chrome, you might be familiar with the reputation that this browser has earned for hogging tons of memory. Well, if you have Windows 10 and use Chrome as your browser, you’re in for a bout of good luck.

It looks like Chrome’s data-hogging may soon improve. Upcoming changes are planned for the Chrome browser that will, in some cases, offer substantial memory usage improvement for Windows 10 users.

A Google Engineer recently revealed future Chrome updates will use the same technique being used on Microsoft Edge to help lower RAM usage and boost performance for Chrome. As with the Edge browser, these changes are expected to cut memory usage by 27%, though how much it will actually speed up your device will depend on a ton of other factors.

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Whether these updates actually speed up your device and use less RAM will depend heavily on the system you’re using, but tests reportedly indicated that these updates could, in some cases, save “hundreds of MB” in the browser and system processes.

“Many-core” systems are most likely to see the largest benefit, but chances are that most Windows 10 users will see at least some improvement with the rollout.

These new features are expected to roll out soon, but there doesn’t appear to be a firm release date as of yet. Keep an eye out, though — these changes could vastly improve your browsing experience when they finally go live, which will be well worth the wait.

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