Microsoft Edge (codename “Spartan”) is a web browser developed by Microsoft and included in the company’s Windows 10 operating systems, replacing Internet Explorer as the default web browser on all device classes. Microsoft says that it is designed to be a lightweight web browser with a layout engine built around web standards. The only plug-in it supports is Adobe Flash Player; it does not support ActiveX or Browser Helper Objects. It has features not supported by Microsoft’s earlier Internet Explorer browsers, including integration with Cortana, annotation tools, and a reading mode. Extension support was developed and added in preview builds in March 2016, and released with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2, 2016.
Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, and Xbox One consoles, replacing Internet Explorer 11 and Internet Explorer Mobile. Microsoft initially announced that Edge would support the legacy Trident (MSHTML) layout engine for backwards compatibility, but later said that, due to “strong feedback”, Edge would use a new engine, while Internet Explorer would continue to provide the legacy engine.
The browser includes an integrated Adobe Flash Player, a PDF reader and supports asm.js.
Edge does not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects, and will instead use an extension system. Internet Explorer 11 will remain available alongside Edge on Windows 10 for compatibility; it will remain nearly identical to the Windows 8.1 version and not use the Edge engine as was previously announced.