Internet, Networking, & Security Browsers Microsoft Edge vs. Google Chrome A look at two of the hottest web browsers Share Pin Email Print Browsers Chrome Safari Firefox Microsoft By Aaron Peters Writer Aaron Peters is a writer with Lifewire who has 20+ years experience in technology. His work appears in Linux Journal, MakeUseOf, and others. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Aaron Peters Updated February 06, 2020 114 114 people found this article helpful Google Chrome is the reigning king of browsers, with the highest usage on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Microsoft Edge is available on most machines because it's installed by default on Windows-based devices. We examined the main differences between these browsers to help you decide which browser you should use. Overall Findings Microsoft Edge By default, installed on all Windows-based devices. Improved, faster rendering than Internet Explorer. More stable both as a Windows application and when displaying web apps. Supports more casting devices through the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Miracast protocols. Less compatible than its competitors. Smaller extension library. Google Chrome Open-source and extensible. Large extension library. Most widely supported browser available, especially for consumer devices. Cross-platform availability. A bit of a memory hog. Future of ad blockers uncertain as Google starts to inhibit them. Separate download and installation on all operating systems but Android. This article focuses on differences, but Microsoft Edge and Chrome are both browsers and are more alike than different. In many cases, the choice to use one or the other is personal taste. For example, you can reasonably expect both Chrome and Microsoft Edge to: Display your favorite websites and applications.Save the locations of those websites and apps as bookmarks.Give you the ability to have a variety of websites or apps open at the same time in separate windows or tabs.Keep track of the places you visited in a history view.Allow you to use an incognito mode. The differences between the two browsers are in how they enable this functionality. Here's how each browser implements key aspects of the browsing experience, including rendering engines, availability of extensions, defaults for features and other services, and compatibility with desktop and mobile platforms. Rendering and Search: Dealer's Choice Microsoft Edge Built on the proprietary EdgeHTML rendering engine. Default search engine is Bing. Google Chrome Built on the open-source Blink rendering engine. Default search engine is Google. Chrome uses an engine called Blink, which is created from a base engine developed by Apple called WebKit. WebKit was an offshoot of an open-source engine called KHTML, which the Linux K Desktop Environment uses as its native browser. The open-source software license of these iterations enabled Google to put together its browser quickly. This is partly why Chrome has an open-source variant, called Chromium, meaning that other organizations can use this framework to create a browser. Microsoft Edge uses the EdgeHTML rendering engine, which is a continuation of the Internet Explorer rending engine. Internet Explorer, especially versions 6 through 8, was finicky when displaying websites. A page that rendered correctly (though slightly differently) in Mozilla Firefox or Chrome may appear broken in Internet Explorer 6 and require a special workaround code. Microsoft created a new engine called EdgeHTML that got rid of those legacy problems and was faster. This is the engine Microsoft Edge currently uses. Extensions: Chrome Has More to Offer Microsoft Edge Offers extensions in the Microsoft Store but tends to prioritize larger developers, making extensions from smaller developers hard to find. Lack of backward compatibility with Internet Explorer limits the number of extensions available. Google Chrome The most extensive browser library available. Browse and install extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Extensions in Chrome enable users to install add-ons that introduce more features. You can easily browse and install them from the Chrome Web Store. Chrome wasn't the first browser to come up with the concept of extensions, but it does have one of the most extensive libraries. Google makes it easy for developers to code and submit new extensions to its store. Microsoft Edge also supports extensions and has a section in the Microsoft Store where you can search for them. Many of the larger applications, like Evernote Clipper, are present as Microsoft Edge extensions. However, you may have trouble finding extensions from smaller developers or more than one option for a particular extension type. The selection is smaller in part because of Microsoft's switch from its traditional Internet Explorer browser to Microsoft Edge. There was no backward compatibility during this change, so developers had to recode their extensions. It has taken a while for developers to catch up, and some abandoned support for Microsoft browsers. Default Settings: Depends on Which Environment You Prefer Microsoft Edge Default home page is a Bing search box with content from Microsoft News. Default search engine is Bing. Displays video output on any device that supports Miracast or the DLNA protocol. Google Chrome Default home page is Google.com. Default search engine is Google. Displays video output on a Chromecast device. The default settings of the two browsers differ, but you can change them. Chrome uses the following default settings: Home Page: The default home page for Chrome is Google. When you launch Chrome, you have quick access to Google's search function and services like Gmail (if you have a Google account).Default Search Engine: When you type keywords into the browser address bar, Chrome uses Google as the default search engine.Casting: Newer devices feature the ability to cast, or display video output on another device. Chrome connects to a Chromecast device to display its output. Microsoft favors its services for the Microsoft Edge browser: Home Page: When you open a new tab or window, you'll see a page with stories from Microsoft News and a search box powered by Bing.Default Search Engine: When you enter search terms into the address bar, Microsoft Edge uses the Bing search engine.Casting: Microsoft Edge casts to any device that supports the DLNA protocol or Miracast. It's more compatible with different types of hardware than Chrome is for sending media or mirroring a screen. Compatibility: Available for Most Operating Systems Microsoft Edge Installed by default on Windows PCs. Also available for macOS, iOS, and Android. Google Chrome Runs on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Chrome is one of the most cross-platform browsers out there. It's available for Windows, macOS, and on mobile for Android and iOS. It's even available on Linux. Download Google Chrome Microsoft Edge is installed out of the box on all standard versions of Windows. It's also available for macOS, Android, and iOS. Download Microsoft Edge Final Verdict: Edge and Chrome Will Become More Alike as Time Goes On Many of the differences discussed here are evident in current versions of Chrome and Microsoft Edge. However, some will disappear before long. Microsoft has decided to discontinue EdgeHTML and other core components of Microsoft Edge. Instead, the company plans to create a new version of Microsoft Edge based on Chromium. Microsoft is going to build Microsoft Edge on the foundations of Chrome, meaning that key elements like the rendering engine will be identical. What's likely to remain different are the connected services. For example, you may still sync your bookmarks with your Microsoft account instead of a Google account, and Bing will likely be the default search engine for Microsoft Edge. A common platform will make it easier for developers to create content and apps that are consistent across the major browsers. You don't have to make a choice. You can have both browsers and use whichever works better for a given website. But if you want to choose one, go with Chrome if you use a lot of web apps or if you're heavily invested in the Google ecosystem. If that doesn't appeal to you and you use a Windows PC, Microsoft Edge is installed, and it's a capable browser if you have concerns about Google's advertising activities.