Microsoft gets Edge browser up to speed, improves UI, as Windows 10 nears launch | Innovation

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10 Build 10158 was delivered on Monday to the inner circle of the Insider Program, giving them the opportunity to download and install the latest reasonably stable version of the operating system.

The new build contains a number of bug fix updates, including a change that will allow Surface 3 users to properly upgrade to Windows 10. Surface Pro 3 users should see improved battery life thanks to the changes, as well.

Image: Flickr/Nils Geylen
Image: Flickr/Nils Geylen

has also improved the experience using Windows 8/8.1 “Metro” apps and Win32 “classic” apps in Tablet Mode. Tablet mode also received some improved animations for added visual fit and finish.

One of the biggest changes involves Microsoft , the company’s replacement for Internet Explorer. While Microsoft announced the ’s name at its Build developer conference last month, today’s update finally shows off the new branding ahead of its public with Windows 10. As seen in leaked builds, it’s a blue “e” very similar to the one used for Internet Explorer.

Running on the desktop, Edge now has a black theme that matches the Windows 10 taskbar, along with new menus for sharing content. The browser now supports filling in forms and password fields, bringing it closer to other modern browsers, including its predecessor. Users can also customize Edge’s New Tab page to display only their most visited sites, or their most visited sites along with suggested content they may be interested in.

Like the launch of Edge’s branding on Windows 10 Mobile, this update brings a new app ID to the browser, which means that testers will lose their favorites, cookies, history and Reading List items from Project Spartan after the upgrade. Microsoft has instructions available here about how to back those up for people who want to maintain continuity in their browsing experience.

The Start Menu receives some added utility with the update as well. With build 10158, users can now swipe up on the left-hand side of the menu to view all of the apps they have installed.

This is the first build for which Microsoft did not call out any significant known issues in its announcement. That doesn’t mean it’s ready for prime time, since it’s only available to members of the Insider Program’s Fast ring. In other words, it’s still only recommended for people who are comfortable mucking around with Windows’s innards.

That said, Microsoft is only a month away from Windows 10’s launch, which means that this build is likely pretty close to what consumers will see when they install the new update after its release on July 29.

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