The Windows 10 launch is less than two weeks away, but its development continues apace.
Microsoft Edge, the new default Web browser for Windows 10, represents a major departure from Internet Explorer and its checkered past. In the newest build of Microsoft's upcoming operating system, set to launch on July 29, the company seems dead set on proving to users that the company has turned over a new leaf when it comes to browsing the Web.
The latest build of Windows 10, numbered 10240, is now available for participants of the Windows Insider program. And with it, comes an improved version of Edge.
"The Edge team has been continuing to optimize performance since first adding the new browser to Windows 10," wrote Microsoft General Manager Gabriel Aul in a company blog post describing Edge's performance as "blazing fast."
According to the company, Edge performs 11 percent faster in Google's own Octane benchmark than Chrome is. In WebKit Sunspider and Apple JetStream, Edge is 112 percent and 37 percent faster than Chrome, respectively.
"We're really pleased with those performance gains, and we hope that you'll enjoy faster browsing with Microsoft Edge along with the many great features we've added over the last several builds," Aul remarked.
Office users will note that their productivity apps are branded differently in build 10240 as the company prepares to launch Windows 10. "You may have already noticed that on PCs and tablets we've added 'Mobile' to the app names (to help distinguish them from the Office desktop suite), while on phones we simply call the apps Word, Excel and PowerPoint," Aul wrote.
"We will also remove 'Preview' from the app names, and in about one week, you will need an Office 365 subscription to edit on Windows 10 PCs and larger tablets," Aul said. Users can continue to use Office apps with basic viewing and editing capabilities on devices with screens of 10.1-inches or less for free. Those seeking Office's advanced functionality will need to sign up for an Office 365 subscription.
As launch day nears, Aul reiterated Microsoft's aim to deliver updates more frequently, keeping with the company's new cloud-like release cadence.
"This is going to be an exciting couple of weeks, but it is also only the beginning," Aul said. "Windows as a service means that we'll continue to keep Windows up-to-date with improvements and features, and our Windows Insider Program will continue so you can get early builds and share your feedback with us."