The latest version of Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser is taking aim at Google Chrome after already surpassing Firefox in terms of popularity.
With the newest version 89 release, Microsoft is introducing a host of new features to Edge, including “Startup Boost,” which it believes can help make the modern browser start up about 41% faster. A similar problem has also plagued Google Chrome.
Rolling out this month, the new Startup Boost feature is designed to help maximize your computer’s performance. Microsoft says the feature can reduce the time it takes to open Edge after a reboot or close the web browser itself. Initial tests show startup times can improve by up to 41%, which is why it will be automatically enabled this month in Edge version 89.
In addition to Startup Boost, Edge version 89 also introduces a new “Vertical Tabs” feature. Designed with tab hoarders in mind (those who have a lot of tabs open), the feature should make the management of tabs a lot easier by simply moving the list of tabs from the top of the browser into a sidebar. This gives better access to tab titles and controls and makes it easier to switch between tabs that you’ll need. It can be accessed by tapping the vertical tabs icon at the top-left corner of the browser.
Microsoft says the new Vertical Tabs feature is meant to pair up with sleeping tabs, a feature previously introduced in Edge version 88. Sleeping tabs put tabs that are not in use in a background state to increase battery life. It can also reduce CPU strain by 26% and memory usage by up to 16% on average.
Smaller changes in this release include a new history menu, which no longer will open in full screen, and instead as a dropdown in the toolbar. You can update Microsoft Edge to version 89 today by clicking the three dots at the top of your screen and scrolling down to Settings. From there, you can click About Microsoft Edge and download the update.
Microsoft is also promoting changes to its Bing search engine. The changes are centered on making it more intuitive and engaging, with cleaner carousel experiences and infographic-inspired experiences.