EDGE

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Mi­crosoft’s cam­paign to get mil­lions of Chrome and Fire­fox users to switch to Edge con­tin­ues, but there aren’t many new fea­tures—things like the re­design of the three­dot menu that now groups icons, and a new look for its set­tings page. There are con­trols for au­to­play­ing me­dia, in­clud­ing block­ing them, but you can also man­age them on a per-site ba­sis, and you can turn off Flash con­tent.

Edge tabs now ap­pear in the Alt-Tab task switcher, and your most com­monly vis­ited sites ap­pear in a Jump List when you right-click the Edge icon on the Taskbar. There’s now dic­tionary lookup if you high­light a word in the PDF viewer or in Read­ing View, and there are new page color themes for the lat­ter, while the former gets an “Add Notes” op­tion on its tool­bar, which can now also be pinned open.

A lot of the cos­metic changes are down to Edge tak­ing on Mi­crosoft’s Flu­ent De­sign phi­los­o­phy, which is meant to be the fu­ture of Win­dows in the same way Aero was a while ago. This means shadow ef­fects and con­tent lay­er­ing to give apps depth, an em­pha­sis on color, an­i­ma­tion, and stan­dard­iza­tion of UI sizes, so things aren’t too big for mouse users or too small for touch­screen fid­dlers. Flu­ent De­sign is also mak­ing its way to Xbox One, with an over­haul of the in­ter­face, and should lead to pret­tier apps now that most PCs have the horse­power to dis­play them.

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