In December 2018 Microsoft announced, to the surprise of many, that they would be replacing their existing Edge browser with a new version based on the Chromium open-source browser project. Other browsers based on Chromium include Google’s Chrome, Opera, and Brave. Microsoft also announced that they would be actively contributing to the Chromium project, which appears to be the case, with over 275 commits as of April 8, 2019.
The replacement for the original Edge browser, hereafter referred to as Chromium-Edge, is still in early development, with no beta release available as of late-April 2019. However, being based on a mature engine like Chromium, it is still and loads most sites without issue already. What is currently offered via the Microsoft Edge Insider site, are versions for Windows 10 in a Dev build channel with targeted weekly updates, and a Canary channel offering daily builds. There is a Beta channel listed, suggesting updates every six weeks, but so far no beta is available. The Insider site also lists Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and macOS as platform targets coming soon. That last bit is interesting since Microsoft hasn’t developed a broswer for Mac since Internet Explorer 5 Mac Edition’s last update in 2003.
Given that this is a significant shift in browser strategy for Microsoft, I decided to test what the performance impact might be for Windows 10 users. Using a variety of benchmarks, I tested the new Chromium-based Edge browser against the current releases of Google Chrome (73.0), Mozilla Firefox (66.0), and the EdgeHTML-based version of Microsoft Edge (44.17763) in Windows 10 1809. Microsoft has only released early builds of Edge in its Chromium flavor, so I tested the initial Dev release (74.1) and one of the daily Canary builds (75.0.134). The benchmarks used for this test are:
Continue reading “Browser Benchmark: New Chromium-based Edge vs. Edge, Chrome & Firefox”
- Google Octane 2.0
- Sunspider 1.02
- Mozilla Kraken 1.1
- Speedometer 2.0
- JetStream 2
Affinity Photo and Designer apps, from Serif Europe Ltd., are both currently on sale for 30% off. The price applies to both desktop and iPad versions. The desktop versions are available for both Windows and macOS, priced at $34.99 each (regularly $50) across the Affinity website, the Microsoft Store, and the Mac App Store. The iPad versions of Photo and Designer are $13.99 (regularly $20) in the iOS App Store. The Microsoft Store shows 8 days remaining on the sale, implying that it may end around July 26.
It’s a pretty good deal on professional level photo editing and vector-based graphic design software that is regularly compared to Adobe products, especially given the one-time purchase and no subscription fees. Photo won the iPad App of the Year for 2017, and also the Windows Developer Awards in 2018.
There are also workbooks that Affinity calls “the official guides” for the apps on macOS and Windows that are also 30% off and now $34.99 (plus $4.99 shipping). I already own the apps, but given how much they can do, these workbooks are tempting. If that price is too steep, there are a bunch of official tutorial videos hosted on Vimeo for free.
Note: the apps are separate on each platform. Purchasing the desktop app for Windows via their site doesn’t also get you the app in the Windows Store. Additionally, purchasing the Windows or Mac version doesn’t net you the app on the opposing platform. So make sure you know which version you want. The Windows Store version will get you easy installs and updates, while the standard desktop version has no limits on when and where you install it (as long as it’s your own PCs, of course).
Magix Software GmbH produces several different media applications, including VEGAS Pro, VEGAS Movie Studio, Music Maker, and others for Windows. If the VEGAS name sounds familiar, the company acquired much of the Sony Creative Software portfolio in May 2016, including the popular VEGAS software line. I’ve used VEGAS Movie Studio products for years, and purchased VEGAS Pro 14 in a recent Humble Bundle. I’ve always liked the software. One very unfortunate effect of that change, though, is that Magix now appears to bundle an application that repeatedly shows ads for their applications and add-ons in the lower right corner of the desktop where Windows 10 notifications often display.
If you are seeing these ads, there will be an application called Connect in your installed apps list on Windows. In the list of apps, it may not show Magix as the publisher, but if you click uninstall, the confirmation should show Magix. If you remove this app, the ads should stop showing immediately. Here’s hoping that Magix realizes that this does nothing but irritate users and removes this separate ad-ware app from their software installs. I was about to uninstall all Magix software I could find on my system before I found the Connect app. I already removed the Music Maker app. For now I will leave VEGAS installed, and see if Magix tries to force the Connect app to be installed again through updates or anything.