Why Microsoft Edge sucks

For the last few months I have been seeing a lot of articles in the technical and computer websites about using Microsofts new browser “Edge”. I have been resisting as I happen to like Googles Chrome browser, mainly due to the integration with all things Google (Gmail, Drive, Docs etc. all work nicely in Chrome as you would expect) and I am a big fan of all the Google services and use them extensively. Today I have had the need to use two different Google accounts but don’t want to link them, and both had to be open. I decided now was a good time to try Microsoft Edge.

I searched for it in the menus as I had long ago unpinned it from the taskbar, at about the same time I disabled the privacy destroying Cortana bar. I clicked its icon and waited for this supposedly super fast experience to start. And I waited. And I waited. Eventually Edge appeared, and the search / address bar appeared so I started typing. The address bar disappeared and that other piece of Microsoft crap AKA BING appeared. I have tried Bing, Microsoft once urged me to let them do comparison searches on my behalf (yep I was sure they would be fair and unbiased comparisons, right??) they assured me I would be surprised by which search engine gave me better results. I was surprised because in spite of Microsoft intercepting search terms on the way to both engines Google returned better, more pertinent results, in one case Bing was so far off it was on another planet.

I digress, a little anyway as we shall return to Bing. The browser had disregarded my input and taken me where it had been programmed to go. I tried again and by this time 3 tabs were opened to Microsoft pages, Bing, MSN whatever and something else. I tried getting to Google but the browser crashed. I reopened Edge and expected a much faster loading time now it had opened once, but again I waited and waited until it was ready to go. I finally managed to enter Google and do what I needed to. At this point I also decided that I would change the default search engine away from Bing, another mistake.

After several frustrated attempts I gave up trying on my own, as what seemed like an easy change was not happening so I Googled for the answer of how to change the default search engine in Edge. Microsoft support pages tell you to simply go to the desired search engine, click a few menu buttons and then select your new default. Still stuck on Bing. I looked elsewhere, all roads led to the same steps which resulted in the same frustration of Bing not shifting out of the default slot. So I left it there.

This then is the story of my fight with The Edge browser, and my defeat at its hands. It just doesn’t do what is claimed. i.e.

  1. faster opening, nope, it took much longer every time I tried
  2. faster browsing, nope it took longer to render a page than Chrome
  3. easy to use, nope several attempts to change the default browser says otherwise as well as pages appearing and losing your typed in requests.

Sorry but I want things to just work, not get in the way, not force me into using Microsofts inferior offerings. The only thing left to say is that this is my opinion and my findings, your experience may be different, please comment below if you have anything to add or any point to make.

New Retro Style Game XyXeXXian Attack quick review

I was just given the heads up on a newly released game from Sunteam called XyXeXXian Attack for Windows PC’s. It is a retro styled shootemup with Sinclair Spectrum style graphics. Gameplay has you defending a ship from the attacking swarm of baddies using your gun as a shield and targetting the alien invaders.

It’s a fast paced shooter with a great old style feel to it and a tough no compromises level of difficulty. It works with keyboard or, as in my case, the Xbox 360 wired controller and is extremely good fun to pick up and play.

Here is a quick video of how not to play Xyxexxian Attack!

More info and download instructions at Sunteams website

Outrun 2019 On Megadrive

Outrun was one of those Arcade games that everyone over 30 will remember playing somewhere, and for many of us the home console and computer versions were our way of bringing that arcade joy to our own house. That feeling of being in a fast car with a pretty girl beside you as you raced through those city streets, pure bliss.

Having wandered through nostalgia, it’s time to move forward in time, although not too far as Outrun 2019 isn’t really from the future but hails from the 16 bit era when the SNES and Megadrive (Genesis for the US market) were fighting it out as the warriors for Nintendo and Sega respectively. As a Sega guy through and through, we will obviously be looking at the superior Megadrive version of this futuristic take on Outrun.

Starting with the basics, we can see that the lovely red car styled after the Ferrari of a young mans dreams has gone, replaced by a futuristic mega speedy conveyance of the future. Also gone is our blonde seat cover from the original, and we seem to be alone in our driving experience. And it is a darker road to travel within sight of the city, and not a beachside road to be seen (at least in the early levels I managed to see). Other than those omissions things seem much the same.

The roads are just as winding, with tight turns to get around in this new souped up future mobile which has an indicated speed in the seven hundred miles an hour region. Those turns come up quickly, and the other cars are no less eager to get out of your way than the rivals of old. Factor in those time limits and you have a real challenge on your hands to make it to the next checkpoint for a time refill.

As you can probably tell from the screenshots the graphics are a little smoother, but the actual track still revolves around your car (which is in front of you still in that chase cam view we know and love) which changes angle as you take those turns. Wheelspins and drifting are still very much a part of the driving experience even as we approach the year 2020 apparently, smoking the tyres as they squeal under the stress of trying to find some grip while the mad driver keeps pushing them ever harder in the pursuit of the next level and a time extension.

Sounds and visuals all add together to make an exciting game, but personally I just felt that the 2019 version of Outrun had lost a little something as it travelled forwards in time. It has ended up a little more like Chase HQ without the baddies to catch than the freedom you felt in the original Outrun games with the red sports car and wind in your hair.