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Microsoft Edge 85 packs some brilliant features that could tempt Google Chrome users looking to switch browsers.

Microsoft’s Edge browser is gaining popularity, reaching the number two position in the desktop market behind only Google’s Chrome. Both Chrome and Edge are based on the Chromium browser engine, so there are similarities feature-wise, but many users are looking to avoid Google services altogether to protect their security and privacy.

Edge has been new dropping features like crazy over the last few months, and it’s now just added a bunch of new capabilities in Edge 85, which you can start to use from now. Many of these are aimed at people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as education as a number of schools are driven online. So what’s new?

Improvements to Edge Collections 

Microsoft Edge’s Collections feature—which allows you to collect, share and organize content you find across the web—is pretty popular, and it’s now becoming more capable.

This is happening through a feature called “Collections send to OneNote” which does exactly what it says: You can send your Edge collections to One Note as well as Word and Excel.

Collections is also now available on iOS and Android allowing you to sync across your devices, Microsoft said in a blog.

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New Edge business, kid safety and education features

There’s important for news for businesses too—Edge 85 also adds the ability to synchronize browser favorites and settings between Active Directory profiles within your own environment without the need for cloud sync. Meanwhile Group policy support has been added that lets administrators add site + app combos that are trusted to launch without the confirmation prompt.

Meanwhile, Edge is adding features that help keeps your kids safe as they browse online via its recently launched family safety app. You can now get activity reports on the sites your kids visit and the search terms they enter, and you can control the content your kids see. InPrivate browsing is also blocked in Edge to make sure your kids stay safe.

Among other features, Microsoft Edge’s built in PDF reader has added highlight and screen reader support—ideal for students and anyone working from home.

Edge has also recently added privacy controls, performance improvements in Collections and a Read Aloud feature in PDFs. Another winning feature has already dropped in Edge 84—the ability to manage notifications from sites. A great way to battle those annoying pop-ups.

Trying out the Edge browser: A Chrome alternative

If you are already using Edge, this update should arrive within the coming days. If you are using another browser such as Chrome, and fancy a change or are looking for something more secure and private, you could give Edge a try.

Microsoft’s Edge browser is not as privacy focused as Firefox, but it does have the benefit of being similar to Chrome, without being as intrusive. Edge has also got some business-focused features that will increasingly suit those working from home.

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