By the way, why is Microsoft Edge called Edge?

The successor to Internet Explorer did not receive the name Edge by chance. This was to indicate to the public that the new browser is at the forefront of web technologies.

Have you ever wondered why web browsers are called Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Vivaldi? No ? Well we do. And since there are still some that we haven’t covered, it’s time to continue our series. This time, it is Microsoft’s browser, Edge, which is in the spotlight. So why did the software giant go for this name?

We must first provide a little historical context: the name of Microsoft Edge was unveiled in 2015 at the annual Build conference organized by Microsoft. Previously, the software – which we already knew existed – was referred to by a simple code name: Spartan. Why Spartan? Because it’s a nod to Spartan John-117, the video game hero Halo, a license owned by Microsoft.

You had to turn the page of Internet Explorer

The decision to create Edge was made following several observations: Microsoft knew that the brand image of its then browser, Internet Explorer, was very degraded in the eyes of a significant part of Internet users. Even if the Redmond company had launched a super Internet Explorer 12 (the last version of Internet Explorer stops at the eleventh version), it would still have been an Internet Explorer.

The Internet Explorer logo 9. Another era of the web. // Source: Microsoft

In addition, the foundations on which Internet Explorer rested were aging and too rigid for the new demands and possibilities of the web. IE’s rendering engine, Trident, has therefore given rise to what is known as a “fork”, meaning a new direction in the development of the rendering engine. This is what gave EdgeHTML, a rendering engine that has an existence of its own, separate from Trident.

A renderer is a key component for the web browser. As its name suggests, it is an element that is used to display the pages in the browser, by interpreting the HTML code in an intelligible visual result (for example by putting fat in such a place, by creating columns if the instructions require it, by activating hypertext links, etc.). In short, he organizes the page.

Make it clear that Edge is always on the cutting edge

So that’s why Trident was replaced by EdgeHTML and Internet Explorer by Edge. But then, why “Edge”? In English, this word can have several meanings. But in the context of the browser, the most accurate translations refer to “edge”, “border” or “edge” and “end”. The idea that Microsoft intends to convey is that it remains at the forefront of web technologies, unlike the days of IE.

This name does not come quite out of nowhere: there is indeed a precedent with Microsoft, as Sean Lyndersay, a Microsoft manager who works in the team in charge of the Edge browser, recalls. In a text published four years ago on Quora, the interested party explains that the last version of Internet Explorer contained, in addition to the modes of compatibility with IE8, 9 and 10, a mode… Edge.

« It was intended to convey the idea that the site always wanted to be at the forefront of evolving web standards. This was the recommended (and default) mode of IE Writes Sean Lyndersay. We already rediscovered the idea of ​​being as far ahead as possible of Internet technologies, of being at the forefront. We thus indirectly find this idea of ​​“border” and “edge”.

Microsoft Edge Kids
Micrsoft Edge also provides a mode for children, with a net filtering system (but that should not exempt parents from accompanying them during a surf session!). // Source: Microsoft

At the time, Microsoft had not yet launched the construction site of a successor to IE, continues the publication. The question of the name then arose. According to Sean Lyndersay, the tech team were very excited with Edge. ” Members liked the idea that the new browser had that little connection to its past that only web developers could understand and appreciate. », He says.

If the case was obviously heard very early for this team, it was still necessary to seduce the marketing department. But it turns out that he too ended up being convinced. ” Marketing came to like it because it was cool and forward thinking, and it represented the bold new direction we were taking for the browser. », fait observer Sean Lyndersay.

Of course, that fell all the better as the tests with certain test groups had shown that the name Edge fared better against the alternatives considered. Cherry on the cake, ” it also made it possible to create a lot of clever slogans and puns Adds Sean Lyndersay. Pirouettes that only English speakers can however grasp.

In short, summarizes Sean Lyndersay, “ one of the principles of Edge is to be modern and therefore always up to date, the new browser was like the eternal edge mode “. A pretty story, undeniably, but one that has a shadow on the table: it is no longer EdgeHTML that has animated Edge since 2020, but another rendering engine: Blink, that is to say that of Google. Clearly, it is through Google that Microsoft can stay at the forefront of the web. What spoils a little the message that Microsoft wants to convey.

The continuation in video

Source: Numerama by

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