Google assistant's biggest question: 'What's my personality?'

Giving Google’s new digital assistant a human touch will be among its top challenges.

One of the first things Genevieve Bell did after bringing home an Amazon Echo was ask the smart speaker to set a timer. After the Echo replied in its soft, reassuring female voice, Bell told the device “thank you.”

“When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ to Google search?” asked Bell, Intel’s longtime cultural anthropologist and corporate strategist. “There’s something about speech that’s human.”

Bell’s experience points to both the promise and the peril of Google’s new effort to create its own digital butler, simply dubbed “Google assistant,” which it hopes will become capable of natural, two-way conversation with people. Several experts in conversational software said Google could make itself an even more intimate part of users’ lives by offering this kind of technology. But, they noted, reaching this goal won’t be easy — especially when it comes to adding a human touch.

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Google Makes Its Nik Collection of Photo Editing Tools Free

Google has made its sophisticated Nik Collection of photo editing tools free. Get it at: https://google.com/nikcollection

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

“Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.”

 

10 best Android apps released in 2015!

Check out the written version – http://goo.gl/vavWNE !

Join us as we round up the best Android apps released in 2015. This year, we even pick a winner!

Adobe apps – https://goo.gl/PGlS8R
Apple Music – https://goo.gl/JkP2Zw
Cortana – https://goo.gl/6x6vfC
Khan Academy – https://goo.gl/oFEu4W
Kodi – https://goo.gl/F7VBmm
Microsoft Word – https://goo.gl/Cbq9Dt
Microsoft Excel – https://goo.gl/f5zUJU
Microsoft PowerPoint – https://goo.gl/PUz5lG
Periscope – https://goo.gl/mTlJ5i
Sling TV – https://goo.gl/3HK2Vj
YouTube Music – https://goo.gl/34X5GC
YouTube Gaming – https://goo.gl/6slQZN
YouTube Kids – https://goo.gl/zDm9VY
Google Photos – https://goo.gl/YwEVxn

Microsoft rolls out more Windows 10 updates as July 29 launch looms

Author: 

For: CNET

windows10-updates.jpg
Microsoft continues to update Windows 10 in time for its July 29 due date.screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft has pushed out a few more updates to Windows 10 as it rushes to prep its new OS for launch next Wednesday.

On Thursday, Gabe Aul, the engineering general manager for Microsoft’s operating systems group, tweeted: “Another update now available on Windows Update for Windows 10 PC build 10240.” Build 10240 is the latest and final build forWindows 10 before the official launch. As such, Microsoft has been focused on pushing out updates for that build to ensure that it’s as solid as possible.

The two updates released late Thursday include a security update with the Microsoft Knowledge Base number of KB3074679 and a new driver for Intel HD graphics. The security update description says little other than the generic: “A security issue that been identified in a Microsoft product that could affect your system.” The one for Intel HD graphics updates the driver for PCs with Intel’s integrated graphics processor. I also caught an update for Windows Defender, Microsoft’s built-in antimalware software, which is updated on a regular basis with new definition files.

Microsoft needs to hit a home run with Windows 10, not just to make up for the debacle of Windows 8 but also to prove that it can still create an OS that generates appeal, excitement and demand among users. The company has been constructing and enhancing Windows 10 since October, with feedback from people who joined the Windows Insider Program to download and test each new build and offer their comments, suggestions and criticisms.

But even if Windows 10 isn’t 100 percent bug-free and rock-solid come next Wednesday, that doesn’t spell doom and gloom for the latest version. With Windows 10, Microsoft has adopted a new rollout approach. Members of the Windows Insider Program will get the upgrade on Wednesday so they can keep testing and offering their feedback. Based on that testing and feedback as well as its own findings, Microsoft will continue to update Windows 10 to address any new issues. It will then start pushing the OS out to Windows 7 and 8.1 users who reserved the free upgrade.

And even after the upgrade is installed by potentially millions of Windows 7 and 8.1 users, Microsoft can continue to update the product as necessary through the Windows Update process. So in some ways, Windows 10 may always be a work in progress. That’s not much different than previous versions of Windows, which continually required updates. Still, the new OS needs to be as stable and user-friendly as possible during the rollout period if it’s to catch on with users, especially those jaded with Microsoft after Windows 8.

The latest Windows 10 updates should download automatically as long as you’ve enabled Automatic Updates. To do so, click the Start button and choose Settings. From the Settings screen, click the category for Update & security. In the Windows Update pane, click the link for Advanced options. And under Advanced Options, make sure the option under Choose how updates are installed is set to Automatic.

You can also check for new updates manually from the Windows Update pane. Click the Check for updates button. If any updates are found, click the View details button and then click the Install button to install them.

Here's everything you need to know about upgrading to Windows 10

Author: 

For: Business Inside

On July 29th, Microsoft will release the most significant overhaul of its operating system in years when it launches the long-awaited Windows 10.

You probably have some questions. So we’ve prepared some answers.

What’s new and cool about Windows 10?

Windows 10 comes with lots of nifty new features: The Cortana digital assistant takes the best parts of Apple’s Siri and Google Now and adds a little more attitude; the new Windows Store promises apps that work exactly the same on your Windows 10 PC as on your Windows 10 tablet. Plus, the new Microsoft Edge Web browser has cool new features (like being able to scribble notes directly on a webpage), and it’s performing better than Google Chrome in some early benchmark tests.

Should I bother with the upgrade to Windows 10? Windows 8.1 was pretty bad.

So far, Windows 10 seems pretty solid.

Microsoft has made a free preview edition available to those brave enough to test early versions of the software, with a program called Windows Insider.

And even in that early form, there’s been a lot to love. At first blush, Windows 10 takes the best parts of Windows 7 (stability, user friendliness) and Windows 8.1 (touchscreen-friendliness) and combines it into something that’s easy to use, both on computers and tablets. It’s familiar, but fresh.

Microsoft is billing this as “The Last Version of Windows,” and promises that it’ll get new features and upgrades on a rolling basis rather than ever releasing a Windows 11 (or 12, or 13).

How much will it cost me to upgrade my Windows 7 or 8 PC?

Nothing. For the next year, any Windows 7 or 8/8.1 computer, tablet, and smartphone gets a free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has big plans for Windows 10, but first it needs to have everybody on the same operating system, so it’s willing to take the financial hit.

Which version of Windows 10 will I get for free?

Check out this handy chart:

Windows 10 upgrade chartMicrosoft

Can my PC or tablet handle an upgrade to Windows 10?

Microsoft says the basic system requirements to run its new OS are: 1 GHz or faster processor or SoC; 1 GB RAM (for 32-bit version), 2GB RAM (for 64 bit-version); 16 GB hard drive (for 32-bit version), 20 GB hard drive (for 64-bit version); a Directx 9 or later graphics card with WDDM 1.0 driver; 800×600 display.

Most PCs will probably meet these requirements — and the Get Windows 10 app that you probably already have on your computer will tell you for sure.

Cool. So I can get Windows 10 on July 29th?

Sort of.

Sort of?

On July 29th, the first batch of computers with Windows 10 preinstalled will be available for sale. There won’t initially be many of those computers available though, as a lot of PC manufacturers are holding back their new models until the back-to-school shopping or holiday seasons.

What if I don’t want to buy a new computer? 

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available for download, starting on July 29th.

New Windows 10 start menuMicrosoftThe Windows 10 Start menu.

So I can download Windows 10 on July 29th?

Sort of. Again.

First, it will go out to the members of the Windows Insider program, to thank them for their service in testing the operating system. Then, it will go out to one group of users at a time over the next few weeks, starting on July 29th — Microsoft doesn’t want to risk a tidal wave of Windows 10 downloads taking its servers down.

You might have already signed up to get in line for the download. Microsoft has been bugging Windows users about the upgrade for the last month or so, via a “Get Windows 10” app in your system tray. That same app will check your computer for compatibility with Windows 10.

What if I don’t want to download Windows 10?

You have two choices: A boxed copy, or a copy that lives on a USB flash drive. Either way, it will run you $119.99 for Windows 10 Home Edition, and $199.99 for Windows 10 Pro Edition.

The big catch here is that neither version will be released in stores until August 30th, 2015, according to the Amazon product listing.

Xbox Windows 10MicrosoftThe Xbox app for Windows 10, which lets you stream games from an Xbox One games console to a Windows 10 PC.

So if I absolutely need to make sure I have Windows 10 on July 29th, I have to buy a new computer?

Basically, yes.

If I upgrade my existing computer to Windows 10, will I lose my files?

Nope. The actual download and install process is handled through Windows Update, so Windows 10 will still have everything once the process is complete. The only catch is that you’ll lose some programs like Windows Media Center, which doesn’t have a Windows 10 version.

Is Microsoft doing anything special for the Windows 10 launch?

Well, it’s not going to be the mass-market advertising and media blitz of the Windows 95 launch 20 years ago, but Microsoft Stores are having special events all around the country. So if, say, you live in New York and don’t have plans on July 29th, you can meet World Cup soccer champion Abby Wambach at the Garden City Microsoft Store.

Just don’t expect any iPhone-style overnight lines.

bill gates windows 95Microsoft ArchivesBill Gates announces Windows 95.

What if I have a problem with Windows 10 and need some tech support?

“As with any significant release, we evaluate customer resources and have invested in upgrade support from a variety of resources including Microsoft Answer Desk, Windows.com andsupport.microsoft.com,” says a Microsoft spokesperson.

Plus, those same Microsoft Stores are getting “Answer Desks,” where you can bring in your Windows 10 computer and have them answer questions for you. They’ll even help you install it.

Great. So what’s the catch?

Windows 10 is still very new, so let the buyer beware. Those early testers have already caught lots of flaws and bugs, but there’s going to be some weirdness early on as Microsoft works to patch up the platform. The new Microsoft Edge browser that comes with Windows 10 won’t support browser extensions right away, for example.

If you’re really concerned, maybe take some time before the upgrade.

Shortcuts for Word

1. Manage Word Documents
Ctrl+N Create new document
Ctrl+O Open document
Ctrl+W Close document
Ctrl+S Save document
F12 Save document as
Ctrl+P Print document/ print preview
Ctrl+F6 Switch between multiple Word documents
Alt, then f, r Open Recent (file, recent)

▲ up

minus2. Navigate within Documents
Arrow Left/Arrow Right Jump one character to the left / to the right
Ctrl+Arrow Left/Ctrl+Arrow Right Jump one word to the left / to the right
End/Home Jump to the end of a line / beginning of a line
Arrow Down/Arrow Up Jump one line down / one line down
Ctrl+Arrow Down/Ctrl+Arrow Up Jump one paragraph down / one paragraph up
Page Down/Page Up Jump one screen down/ one screen up
Alt+Ctrl+Page Down/Alt+Ctrl+Page Up Jump to top / to bottom of visible window
Ctrl+End/Ctrl+Home Jump to end / to beginning of document
F6 Cycle through Ribbon/open panes/Status Bar/document window
Ctrl+G/F5 Go to a page, bookmark, footnote, table, comment, graphic, or other location
Alt+Ctrl+Z Go back to previously edited location in document (up to 4 places)
Shift+F5 Go to a the last change or revision. Also works after opening document.
Ctrl+Shift+F5 Set, go to and edit bookmarks
Alt+Ctrl+Home Set Browse Options. Press the arrow keys to select an option, and then press enter to browse through a document by using the selected option
Ctrl+Page Down/Ctrl+Page Up Move to next / move to previous browser object as set in Browse Options
minusDialog boxes
Tab Cycle forward through all options and elements
Shift+Tab Cycle backwards through all options and elements
Ctrl+Tab Cycle forward through available pages
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Cycle backwards through available pages
Alt+underlined letter Selects the option indicated by the letter

▲ up

minus3. Select Text
Shift+Arrow Right/Shift+Arrow Left Extend selection one character to the right / to the left
Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Right/Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Left Extend selection one word to the right / to the left
Shift+End/Shift+Home Extend selection to the end / to beginning of a line
Shift+Arrow Down/Shift+Arrow Up Extend selection one line down / one line up
Shift+Page Down/Shift+Page Up Extend selection one screen down / one screen up
Ctrl+Shift+End/Ctrl+Shift+Home Extend selection to end / to beginning of document
Alt+Ctrl+Shift+Page Down/Alt+Ctrl+Shift+Page Up Extend selection to end / to beginning of visible window
Ctrl+A Extend selection to entire document
Arrow Keys Cancel selection and return to beginning / to end of selection
F8 Turn Extend Mode on: Extend selection without pressing shift
Arrow keys , Page up/Page Down Extend selection in Extended Mode:
F8 Extend selection further by word, paragraph, document in Extended Mode
Shift+F8 Reduce the size of a selection in Extended Mode
Ctrl+Shift+f8, and arrow keys Select a vertical block of text in Extended Mode
Esc Turn extend mode off
F8 Extend a selection to a specific location in a document

▲ up

minus4. Undo, Copy and Paste
Ctrl+Z Undo the last action
Ctrl+Y Redo the last action
Ctrl+C Copy selected text or object
Ctrl+X Cut selected text or object
Ctrl+V Paste selected text or object
Ctrl+Shift+C Copy text format
Ctrl+Shift+V Paste text format
Ctrl+Alt+V Paste special
Ctrl+v, then Ctrl, then k Paste and keep Source Formatting
Ctrl+v, then Ctrl, then t Paste and keep Text only
Ctrl+F3 Cut to the Spike (separate clipboard)
Ctrl+Shift+F3 Paste from the Spike
F3 Paste AutoText ( after start typing)
Alt+Shift+R Copy the header or footer from previous section of the document

▲ up

minus5. Edit Documents
minusInsert Special Characters
Alt+Ctrl+C Insert copyright symbol
Alt+Ctrl+R Insert registered trademark symbol
Alt+Ctrl+T Insert trademark symbol
Alt+Ctrl+. (Period) Insert horizontal ellipsis (…)
Alt+Ctrl+ Insert em dash
Alt+Ctrl+[+] Insert en dash
Alt, then n,u Insert Symbol (insert menu)
/Ctrl+2x` Insert single opening quotation mark
Ctrl+2x Insert single closing quotation mark
Type character code and press Alt+X Insert Unicode character, e.g. 20ac
Select character and press alt+X Transform character to Unicode
Alt+character code on numeric keyboard Insert ANSI character
minusInsert Breaks
Enter Insert paragraph break
Shift+Enter Insert line break without breaking paragraph
Ctrl+Enter Insert page break
Ctrl+Shift+Enter Insert column break (break table)
Ctrl+Shift+Space Insert nonbreaking space
Ctrl+Shift+ (Hyphen) Insert nonbreaking hyphen
Ctrl+ Insert optional hyphen
minusInsert Text Elements
Alt+Ctrl+F Insert a footnote
Alt+Ctrl+D Insert an endnote
Ctrl+K Insert a hyperlink
Alt+Shift+I Insert Citation Mark
Alt+Shift+X Insert Index Mark
minusMove and Delete Text
F2, then move to position and press Enter Move selected text to different position
Shift+F2, then move to position and press Enter Copy selected text to different position
Delete/Backspace Delete one character to the right / to the left (or delete selection)
Ctrl+Delete/Ctrl+Backspace Delete one word to the right / to the left
Delete Delete one character to the right or delete selection
Ctrl+Shift+</Ctrl+Shift+> Decrease / Increase font size one value

▲ up

minus6. Formats
minusFormat Text
Ctrl+D/Ctrl+Shift+K Open the Font dialog box
Ctrl+Shift+</Ctrl+Shift+> Decrease / Increase font size one value
Ctrl+[/Ctrl+] Decrease / Increase font size one point
Ctrl+B Apply/remove bold
Ctrl+I Apply/remove italic
Ctrl+U Apply/remove underline
Ctrl+= Apply/remove subscript
Ctrl+Shift+= Apply/remove superscript
Ctrl+Shift+C Copy formatting
Ctrl+Shift+V Paste formatting
Ctrl+Shift+D Apply/remove double-underline
Ctrl+Shift+W Apply/remove words underline (only words, no spaces)
Ctrl+Shift+H Apply/remove hidden formatting
Ctrl+Shift+A Apply/remove all capitals
Ctrl+Shift+K Apply/remove small capitals
Shift+F3 Change between all upper-, first letter upper- and all lower-case
Ctrl+d, then Alt+k and enter Apply strike-through formatting (font dialog)
Ctrl+Shift+Q Change the selection to the Symbol font
Shift+F1 Reveal Formatting (show all formats of selection)
Ctrl+Alt+H Apply/remove Highlight Text Feature
minusFormat Paragraphs
Ctrl+R Right-align paragraph
Ctrl+L Left-align paragraph
Ctrl+E Center-align paragraph
Ctrl+J Justify-align paragraph
Ctrl+M/Ctrl+Shift+M Indent paragraph from the left and increase / decrease indent
Ctrl+T Increase hanging indent
Ctrl+Shift+T Decrease hanging indent
Ctrl+1 Set line-spacing to single-space
Ctrl+2 Set line-spacing to double-space
Ctrl+5 Set line-spacing to 1.5
Ctrl+0 (zero) Add or remove one line space preceding a paragraph
minusStyles
Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S Open or close Styles task pane
Alt+Ctrl+1 Apply Heading 1 style
Alt+Ctrl+2 Apply Heading 2 style
Alt+Ctrl+3 Apply Heading 3 style
Alt+Shift+Arrow Right/Alt+Shift+Arrow Left Promote / demote Headings
Ctrl+Space Remove all manual styles
Ctrl+Shift+N Apply Normal style
Ctrl+Shift+S Open Apply Styles task pane (will not close with pressing it a second time)
Alt+Ctrl+K Start Auto Format

▲ up

minus7. Search and Replace
Ctrl+H Open traditional find and replace window
Ctrl+h, then Alt+D Open traditional find window
Alt+Ctrl+y, /Shift+F4 Repeat last find after closing find window
Ctrl+Tab Jump between find menu and document
Alt+Space, Arrow keys and Enter Move find menu window
Esc Close traditional search window if active
Ctrl+F Open (new) search menu in navigation task pane
alt, then w,k Open and close Navigation pane (View, Navigation)

▲ up

minus8. Manage Word View
minusSwitch Views
Alt+Ctrl+P Switch to Print Layout view
Alt+Ctrl+O Switch to Outline view
Alt+Ctrl+N Switch to Draft view (used to be normal view)
Ctrl+scroll mouse Zoom in and zoom out
alt then w, q Open Zoom Menu (no native shortcut exists for zoom in/ zoom out)
Alt+Ctrl+S Split the document window
minusRibbons
Ctrl+F1 Show or hide the ribbon
F10/Alt Select item in Ribbon
Esc Leave Ribbon or Submenu
Arrow Left/Arrow Right Move left or right between main Ribbon Menus if active
Arrow Keys Move left/right/up/down between Ribbon Menus and Sub-Menus
Space/Enter When in ribbon Open or activate selected item
minusNavigation Pane
Alt, then w,k Open and close Navigation pane (View, Navigation)
F6/Shift+F6 With Navigation Pane open: Switch forward / backwards between (1) Navigation Pane, (2) Bottom Taskbar, (3) Ribbon, and (4) Document
Tab/Shift+Tab In Navigation Pane: Move through Navigation Pane options
minus9. Tables
minusNavigate in Tables
Arrow Down/Arrow Up Jump one row down / one row up
Tab/Shift+Tab Jump to (and select) next / previous table cell
Alt+Home/Alt+End Jump to first column/ jump to last column
Alt+Page Up/Alt+Page Down Jump to first row / jump to last row
Ctrl+Arrow Left/Ctrl+Arrow Right One cell to the left / to the right
minusSelect Table Contents
Shift+End Select current table cell
end, then shift+Home Select content of current table cell
Press and hold shift and press arrow keysrepeatedly Extend selection to adjacent cells
Ctrl+Shift+f8, then press Extend selection or block
Alt+5 on numeric keypad (with numLock off) Select an entire table
minusEdit Tables
Alt+Shift+Arrow Up/Alt+Shift+Arrow Down Move current row up or down
In first column, press shift+End Select row*
In first row press alt+Shift+Page Down Select column
Shift+Delete Delete rows* with rows selected
Shift+Delete Delete columns with columns selected
Alt, j, l, d, r Delete row at cursor
Alt, j, l, d, c Delete column at cursor
Alt, j, l, a Insert row above cursor
Alt, j, l, e Insert row below cursor
Alt, j, l, l Insert column to the left of cursor
Alt, j, l, r Insert column to the right of cursor
Ctrl+Tab Insert tab character
tab in last table cell Add row at the end
*Make sure selection extends past the last column which is number of columns +1. Word shows the selection extended next to the last column.
minus10. Outline View
Ctrl+Shift+O Switch to Outline View
Tab/Shift+Tab Promote / Demote a paragraph (or Alt+Shift+Arrow Left/Arrow Right)
Alt+Shift+Arrow Up/Alt+Shift+Arrow Down Move selected paragraphs up / down
Ctrl+Shift+N Demote to body text (set style to normal)
Alt+Shift+[+]/Alt+Shift+ Expand / Collapse text under a heading
Alt+Shift+A Expand or collapse all text or headings
[/ key on the numeric keypad Hide or display character formatting
Alt+Shift+L Show the first line of body text or all body text
Alt+Shift+1 Show all headings with the Heading 1 style
Alt+Shift+N Show all headings up to Heading n
Ctrl+Tab Insert a tab character

minus11. Review Documents
F7 Choose the Spelling command (Review tab).
Alt+Ctrl+M Insert a comment
Ctrl+Shift+E Turn change tracking on or off
Alt+Shift+C Close the Reviewing Pane if it is open.
Ctrl+Shift+* Display nonprinting characters.
Alt+F10 Display the Selection and Visibility task pane.
Ctrl+Shift+G Open the Word Count dialog box.

minus12. Print Documents
Ctrl+P Print a document (print preview)
Esc Close print preview
Arrow keys, Page up /Page Down Move around the preview pages (with focus on preview page*)
Ctrl+Home/Ctrl+End Move to first page / last page (with focus on preview page)
*Except tabbing, there seems to be no shortcut to jump to preview page. Clicking on it with the mouse is an option

minus13. Fields
Alt+Shift+D Insert current date (insert DATE field)
Alt+Shift+P Insert page number (insert PAGE field)
Alt+Shift+T Insert time (insert TIME field)
Alt+Ctrl+L Insert LISTNUM field
Ctrl+F9 Insert an empty field
Ctrl+Shift+L Insert a LISTNUM field
Shift+F9 Show or hide field code/result of selected field
Alt+F9 Show or hide field codes/results of all fields in document
F9 Update selected fields*
Alt+Shift+F9 Run GOTOBUTTON or MACROBUTTON from the field that displays the field results
F11/Shift+F11 Go to the next field/ previous field
Ctrl+Shift+F7 Update linked information in a Microsoft Word source document
Ctrl+Shift+F9 Unlink a field
Ctrl+F11/Ctrl+Shift+F11 Lock a field / Unlock a field
*to update all fields, select the complete document with ctrl+a, then update fields by pressing f9)

minus14. Mail Merge
Alt+Shift+K Preview a mail merge
Alt+Shift+N Merge a document
Alt+Shift+M Print the merged document
Alt+Shift+E Edit a mail-merge data document
Alt+Shift+F Insert a merge field
Alt+Shift+K Preview a mail merge
Alt+Shift+N Merge a document
Alt+Shift+M Print the merged document
Alt+Shift+E Edit a mail-merge data document
Alt+Shift+F Insert a merge field

minus15. The Rest
F1 Get Help or visit Microsoft Office.com
Alt+Space Open the window menu
Alt+F4 Exit Word
Shift+F10 Display a shortcut menu (Simulate right mouse button)
Alt+F3 Create new Building block with selected texts

6 Reasons to Try Microsoft's Edge Browser

MSFT - MS Edge

Among the many fascinating reveals in the opening keynote of the Microsoft Build 2015 developer conference—Android and iOS code running on Windows phones,holograms that can attach themselves to physical robots, and Visual Studio for Mac and Linux—was the Microsoft Edge browser.

Internet Explorer’s more modern and fast successor, previously code-named Project Spartan, is now Edge, and one of its most notable new features is extensions. Edge also maintains Spartan innovations like page markup, reading view, and Cortana integration. It’s also a Universal Windows app, meaning one application runs on PCs, phones, tablets, and whatever other Windows-running devices emerge.

Perhaps Edge’s greatest asset is that it’s not Internet Explorer, which, even after lots of improvements in speed and tightened design, was one of the most reviled pieces of software in history. Though Edge’s icon still sports an “E,” it really isn’t IE. Even underneath, it runs a new page-rendering engine called…wait for it—Edge. Yes, that was the name of Project Spartan’s engine, and it has now been elevated to the full product name. It tops IE’s longtime Trident engine in speed and compatibility with new Web standards such as HTML5.

Windows 10 will still ship with IE11 for legacy compatibility, especially for corporate intranets and other entreprise Web apps, but it won’t get new features and Edge will be the default browser.

Edge Browser Extensions
Extensions are hardly a new capability in Web browsers, and even Internet Explorer had some extensibility, with toolbars, WebSlices, and Accelerators. But Edge brings the promise of full Firefox- and Chrome-style extensions.

In fact, Edge’s extension developers will use the same JavaScript and HTML standard code used by those two competing browsers for their extensions. Furthermore, Microsoft’s Vice President for PC-Tablet-Phone, Joe Belfiore, stated that extensions programmed for Chrome or Firefox would only require minimal coding to work in Edge. At the keynote, he demoed an extension for Reddit that would let you vote on stories and a Pinterest extension that let you share pages.

An important note about extensions in Edge is that the feature won’t ship with Windows 10 RTM (release to manufacturing) this summer, but will come in a later update.

Edge Extension

Cortana
Windows 10’s voice assistant seems to be popping up everywhere, and Edge is no exception in this regard. When you land on a page for which directions make sense—say you’re on a restaurant’s webpage—Cortana pops up with her familiar blue circle in the browser toolbar proposing relevant information. You can also right-click on selected text to have Cortana find info about the selection.

Cortana Sidebar in Project Spartan

New-Tab Page
People hit that bar atop the browser to open a new tab over a billion times a day, and Microsoft wants to make good use of that real estate. IE’s new-tab page was actually one of the more useful among the browsers, all of which let you search and see thumbnails of your most-visited sites, but also let you re-open closed tabs and see site suggestions. In Edge, the new-tab page still shows top sites, but also app suggestions, weather, sports scores, and video suggestions. Interestingly, the page doesn’t show an address bar, but you can type a URL into its search box.

Microsoft Edge New Tab Page

Reading Mode
Another feature that’s been available in other browsers for years (particularly in Apple’s Safari) but is making its debut in Microsoft’s new browser is Reading Mode. This lets you strip out all the extra junk on a webpage aside from the main text and images —ads, sidebars, and so on—so you can read undistracted. Very useful for magazine like sites—like PCMag.com!

Reading Mode in Project Spartan

Page Annotations
This one has not appeared on competing browsers from Mozilla, Google, and Apple, though I’ve seen a similar feature in the lesser-known Maxthon browser. Edge lets you mark up webpages with a highlighter or drawing tool and then share them as an image file in email or social apps.

Edge Markup

New Coding Support
A Build session on the Edge browser highlighted just how many forward-looking features Edge supports, and noted that the browser doesn’t appear as IE to sites, so they’re more likely to work as they do in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (mobile and desktop). The browser will support Object RTC, a newer form of WebRTC, the protocol that allows sites access to media communications; think Skype via a Web browser. Here’s a slide showing other new features in Edge:

New Edge Browser Features

An Edge Among Browsers
Microsoft’s new browser shows promise, and seems to be moving in all the right directions—faster speed, more standard support, extensions, and even a couple of unique features like page markup and Cortana integration. The fact that it will deliver the same experience on every device size—from Raspberry Pi to HoloLens to Xbox One—is another advantage. To try it out (on a non-critical PC), you can join the Windows Insider program and install Windows 10.

Source: (LINK)