Microsoft Edge vs Google Chrome

I am still enjoying Windows 11. The styling is super nice. For better or worse, they have been pushing Microsoft Edge as the default browser. Microsoft has had a checkered history with browsers. Internet Explorer had moments where it completely dominated all of the competition and worked well. This was actually a relief as a developer. Browser testing was/is a pain in the ass. IE3 and IE6 were good for a long period of time.

Lately, Chrome has been dominant, but history tells us that no one rules forever. See the following video to see how the shares have changed over the years.

Browser Share over time

I decided to give it a try and use it side-by-side with Chrome for a little while. Here are my quick thoughts:

Performance

They are pretty close. I could do more rigorous testing by opening identical web pages. However, I would give the edge to Chrome (pun absolutely intended) in memory use. Chrome is a bit more efficient.

Page rendering

This one is tricky. On the whole, MS Edge looks fine. However, I’ve noticed one set of pages that Edge renders badly. GMail and Google Calendar. Notice the styling messes up on the left with the icons.

Errors in rendering

Coincidence? I think not. I believe Google making it broken on purpose. I don’t think this is a poor execution by Edge. I think it’s sabotage by Google. Every other site seems to do fine in Edge. Bad sportsmanship Google. Bad.

Functionality

They are pretty close. Chrome released tab groups which is a nice feature that Edge doesn’t have. Edge has “collections” but honestly, I don’t understand how they work.

Plugins

Chrome has the most, but I am surprised how many Edge has. I think they made it easy to port from Chrome, to bootstrap the community. Smart. For what I need, I have them on both browsers.

Style

The rounded tabs are a little nicer in Chrome and the UI is more compact. It’s not a big deal. I am nitpicking here. They are nearly the same.

Summary

If Microsoft wasn’t pushing this thing on me 8 days a week, I would probably never have tried it. Firefox is falling more and more behind and other browsers like Opera or Brave just seem extraneous to me.

I guess the answer is to stick with Chrome, but I do believe that competition is a good thing for browser innovation. Things stagnate when one browser is dominant. Microsoft Edge is a perfectly good browser. It does what it’s supposed to do. This whole thing reminds me of Futurama where Jack Johnson ran against John Jackson for president. They were clones of each other.

From Futurama

Bottom line is that I don’t hate it. Not much of an endorsement, but what can you do?


2 responses to “Microsoft Edge vs Google Chrome”

  1. Thanks for this helpful overview. An interesting find that Google seems to be sabotaging the rendering of its properties on Edge. Tssssss…

    Your experience with Win11, and the price/performance gap for high end PC vs. Mac machines has piqued my curiosity and actually gotten me thinking about buying a desktop PC (for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, & crypto stuff). But I’m going to hold off a bit longer until Apple pulls back the curtain later this month (or the next?) and reveals whatever M1X / M2 “supercomputers” it’s been creating with their custom silicon. Because yep, I’m still an Apple fanboy (sorry not sorry).

    • I have very mixed feelings.
      For price – Windows.
      For performance on laptop – Mac
      For performance on desktop – Tie
      For OS preference – Windows
      For interoperability – Windows
      For Figma – Mac

Whatya think?

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