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Who uses Microsoft Edge on Linux?

So Wendell was talking about how Edge is a surprisingly good browser on Linux which I thought was interesting because I had just decided to start using it in Linux (and everywhere else) myself. So I was curious who is using it and why? Or why are you using some other browser?

For me I was tired of performance issues on Firefox so I was looking for a different browser. Performance in Firefox is generally good enough but on occasion websites would cause it to crawl to a stop for a few seconds in ways that I know wouldn’t have been an issue on Chrome. It also didn’t help that with such a large market share of browsers being blink renderer based developers on some websites don’t check if stuff works on firefox and so there are the occasional visual issues. Over time these minor frustrations added up and eventually one too many slow downs was the straw that broke the camels back.

So here is in no particular order the reasons I went with Edge:

  • It’s available on Linux, Windows, MacOs, and Android. I use systems with each of these operating systems and generally prefer to use the same browser everywhere for a reasonably consistent experience.

  • It uses chromium as its base. As much as I hate that internet technology is controlled to such a degree by google, the reality is that chromium based browsers work best on the modern web and I have better things to worry about. Also I apologize that this is such a defeatist attitude, but it is how I feel.

  • While it does have some useless features (looking at you built in coupon code extension) It’s not as bloated as say Vivaldi. Also, even though I’m pretty darn sure that the reason for the coupon code thing is to make Microsoft money, in my personal experience most non-technical people who get viruses tended to get them from trying to find coupons, so there might actually be a net positive from including it as a feature.

  • It at least tries to respect my gtk+ theme. It’s not entirely successful but it’s better than straight chromium.

  • The android interface is imo better than chrome on android. I really liked the bottom address bar on Firefox mobile and while edge doesn’t have that, it does have a little menu on the bottom that can focus the address bar by pressing the search button in the menu. I’ve basically just reordered the buttons so that i can double tap the menu on the bottom to focus the address bar. This and the gtk theme are big reasons I didn’t end up just using straight Chromium.

  • It has a built in tracker script blocker. This might be a moot point because the browser is probably sending a ton of tracking data to Microsoft. But it still makes me feel slightly better about using websites. There’s also a built in ad blocker on the mobile app which is convenient.

So yeah, there’s probably more reasons for it that I didn’t think of right now/I need to get back to work, but was curious where the general L1techs community stands.

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A lot of us are more privacy minded here. Some have a bit too much tinfoil. Some dgaf.

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I am not crazy about a single engine powering all web platforms, and in addition I am not crazy about Google getting so much data.

I transitioned to Firefox a while ago and while its not perfect its nice to have that little bit of privacy back in exchange for some performance which can be overcome with CPU and internet speed.

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Honestly I’m not entirely convinced that Firefox really gets you away from Google. It’s public information that Mozilla relies on Google financially. Without any solid source to back it up I suspect that they share data with Google. But that also might (probably?) just be my own tinfoil hat showing. That being said, your arguments are the same ones that got me to switch to Firefox years ago. I just got whittled down to the point that I abandoned my morals…

I will say though that since I don’t just use my browser on my desktop the better CPU and better internet argument doesn’t really work out. Often I’m on a slow vpn for work so not much I can do to speed up that connection. I also can’t throw a desktop CPU in my phone. but while these things are true for me I don’t really want the performance point to discourage people from using Firefox, it really is good most of the time.

Its 2021. Everyone knows that Mozilla is just a Google frontend for pretending that they have a competitor on the market.
Nobody with a brain trusts Mozilla anymore. The only thing Firefox have is the ability to fork it or at least change about:config.

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The “knows” part is where I have trouble. I haven’t seen any damning evidence that they do whatever Google says, but I also haven’t looked into it that much. If you have a good source easily available I’d love to read over it, but don’t feel the need to go searching for one for my benefit. I already believe this just because it fits with how I’ve seen the world work.

They take money from Google to promote the Google Search Engine by default out of the box.

Here is a link to their privacy policy btw.

Yeah, the search part alone I think would be a non issue because hey they gotta make money somehow and switching search providers is a couple clicks away and they’re pretty open that they do that. In my mind there would only really be a problem if they end up sharing their own telemetry data with Google regardless of what search engine you set. I suspect that they do in fact do this (or at least share some of it if not all of it). I just don’t have a solid source that says this is true so I try to make it clear that I’m saying it based off of conjecture rather than fact.

Guilty. Firefox is a pile of trash. Honestly the fact that edge is an upgrade is pretty pitiful.

Thats what happens when politics meets software. You get Mozilla and its dying products

3.6% market share down from 6.7 ish a year ago.

Hope mozilla dies tbch. I hate the company more than Microsoft or google. At least we know what they want. Mozilla is a bunch of charlatans pretending as if they have done much good

What Mozilla doesn’t understand is the people that like their politics literally use chrome lol

I honestly applaud Microsoft for bringing edge to Linux. The Linux browser landscape could use a couple more options. You got edge now. You’ve got Falkon, ungoogled chromium all better products than Firefox

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I use Firefox ESR and the experience has been pretty alright.

Once you turn off all the stupid defaults its quite nice.

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ESR hasn’t gotten to version stupidity yet. Things are a mess in the 90s releases

Give Librewolf a try. Its FF but stripped from all telemetry and with sane privacy defaults applied.

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You know, reactions like this are what’s so interesting about browser choice. Quite frankly this is a visceral response and I attribute that to how often we use web browsers now. It becomes an emotional investment because it’s such a core part of our lives.

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Its not so much impulsive as it comes for the last few years of making my own about:config and browser policy to undo dumb changes.

Tried librewolf and it just broke stuff in the name of privacy and got in my way everywhere so I nuked that too.

I legitimately see Mozilla and its foundation spending way too much time on politics and not enough time paying decent devs and working on QA lately

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Oh yeah, didn’t mean to imply impulsiveness, just an emotional investment. Which quite frankly I think pretty much anyone who actually takes the time to pick a browser and try options has an emotional investment in it.

The only thing I’m emotionally invested in is hoping Mozilla goes bankrupt and completely dissolves

Outside of that I have 4 browsers on the computer. If one fails I open the other and keep going. Lol

Also, your thoughts on librewolf are the same reason I didn’t go with ungoogled chromium. In the end I also tend to use Google as my search engine because it just works most of the time. In ungoogled chromium I couldn’t find a way to add it back as a search engine. I get that somewhat defeats the point of ungoogling chromium but for me I just want to limit the data I send to Google, not necessarily stop it altogether.

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Yup that’s something that irritated me too. It just goes to show that when people fork a project for reasons they describe they make it political. They don’t allow you the choice to add it back even if the software is open source

In any case something that pissed me off beyond belief was Mozilla gimped Firefox for android. Unless you run the beta or the nightly now which force feeds Mozilla data you can’t have about:config. They practically turned into the plant on little shop of horrors lol. Now they poured so much investment into “Mozilla VPN” and its a failed project. Makes me wonder why we allow them to continue. Why we use their products or anything licensed by them.

I hate when politics gets into my software

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I won’t quite agree with not wanting politics in software, it is awful most of the time though. The politics that I do want in software are choice and transparency. If you’re transparent about what data you collect and how you use it I’m more likely to be ok with it. But I still want the choice to disable certain parts of the data collection if I disagree with how you’re using it. I also want the choice to change things to work the way I want without the software provider purposelessly making that harder to do. Because sure, if it’s open source I can change whatever I like but like you said with Firefox mobile, disabling about:config is stupid. It’s literally in the software providers interesting to have toggles for features so it’s easier to test things and whatnots, there’s literally no reason other than greed to not let the user toggle those switches that they’re putting in the software anyways

Edit: didn’t change the above text, just pointing out that I got caught up in the heat of the moment and don’t actually think greed is the only valid reason to not allow users to toggle feature flags. I think in the case of the mobile Firefox browser it was probably done to lower bug requests and bad reviews due to strange config changes by users. In my mind I still see this particular case as greed because I think that lowering those things is a goal for financial reasons and they further took the easy path out for financial reasons, but it isn’t fair to say that greed is the only reason for all software out there to not have user toggleable feature flags.

Edit 2: updated the edit to better point out what part of the post I’m referring to and fleshed out a couple thoughts in the edit a little more

Disclaimer: I happen to work on Ads Serving for Google.

So a lot of profile building correlation inference and different kinds of ML happens in real time across various Google products AND across third party websites that choose to integrate Google Ads into their various pages (which Google has previously crawled and tagged/categorized assigned various scores). In some cases upon receiving a request from a page (from a browser but because a piece of js on a page told it) Google might decide to act as an “Ad Exchange” and run what’s called “Real Time Bidding” involving third-parties.

AFAIK (maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so) there’s no way for third party websites to report your browsing on your behalf from third party website servers (e.g. they might want to because it might increase their revenue relative to not showing ads but I don’t think Google Ads would trust that reporting), it needs to be done directly by your browser which means adblocker extensions (e.g. original AdBlock/ublock/umatrix and similar) continue to “do their job” at least on non Google “properties” incl. websites and apps.

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