What you need to know
- Microsoft Edge is a web browser from Microsoft, based on the Chromium web engine.
- It's a very good browser, but few people actively use it over Google Chrome, despite the fact it's preinstalled on Windows.
- Microsoft has kicked off a new marketing campaign for Microsoft Edge, featuring the eponymous Edgehog.
- Some fans, however, think there might be an Xbox-SEGA conspiracy going on here, though.
Microsoft Edge is my favorite web browser that very few people actually use. But maybe this cute and cuddly garden friend is here to change Edge's fortunes.
You guessed it, Edge is a web browser from Microsoft, replacing the much-despised Internet Explorer a few years ago. Edge initially emerged on Microsoft's own web engine, but has since relented and adopted the Chromium project, backed by Google. As such, Edge is now essentially Chrome with a different set of tools, but given the fact it's baked directly into Windows, it is reportedly generally more battery efficient and RAM-friendly than Google Chrome. They're pretty much the same, though, even sharing the same extensions.
In any case, Microsoft has been a little aggressive in recent years in its attempts to get users to choose Microsoft Edge. Edge is, of course, the default browser on Windows 11, and the OS has a knack for berating you for daring to switch to another browser like Chrome or Firefox. Windows also has a habit of resetting your default browser after major updates occasionally too, according to some. In any case, Microsoft may have finally found a way to market its unloved web browser that is less annoying, and more omg cute. Say hi to Edgehog.
Kicking off on Twitter (now called X for some reason), Microsoft rebranded its Microsoft Edge socials to its new mascot-in-chief, Edgehog the Hedgehog. In a stroke of marketing genius Ernest Dichter would endorse, Microsoft washed away decades of skepticism of its browser credentials on the spiny cuteness of everybody's favorite garden friend. Kind of, at least.
sorry we missed your pings, we were busy today pic.twitter.com/pUKLvWGc33July 25, 2023
The cutesy ball of spines has been wreaking havoc at Microsoft's Redmond campus, at least the video would have us believe (there's no evidence of the use of AI here but hey, it's 2023 we can't be sure of anything anymore (perhaps this article is even written by AI. Perhaps ... I am AI.)) Anyway, there's no way to know what Edgehog itself thinks of Microsoft Edge, since communicating with a hedgehog is a feat as of yet unachieved by our best science. However, there's every reason to think the little tyke is more than OK with it, particularly since I'm sure he's getting paid well for his services.
However, there is some controversy to this whole story that we absolutely must address. Tinfoil hats, please.
Some Xbox fans jokingly (or perhaps, not so jokingly) think that Microsoft has chosen to use the medium of Microsoft Edge's Twitter account to tease a potential acquisition of SEGA. SEGA is of course known for its own hedgehog mascot, Sonic, and many Xbox fans think the firm would be an ideal candidate to join the Microsoft family following Activision-Blizzard.
Microsoft's Edgehog doesn't mean Microsoft is buying Sega lol. It's just a marketing stunt for a web browser https://t.co/RQG24L11luJuly 27, 2023
The Verge Senior Editor Tom Warren issued a denial against the growing backdrop of speculation. Could Microsoft's great Edgehog marketing stunt in fact be teasing a multi-billion dollar acquisition? Tom Warren certainly doesn't think so — or ... what if he's IN on it? Warren would of course love to keep the juicy information all to himself, and might be keen to throw fans off the scent with his denials.
For indeed, internet sleuth PsychoBaker pointed out that the song being played in the original Edgehog video is dubbed "Lush Meadows." Could this be a reference to Sonic?! What about all the other hedgehogs Microsoft seems to share across its socials? What about the exact hexadecimalized color scheme of one of its controllers, directly matching Sonic's iconic blue spines?!
Hard not to see a connection with Sonic and SEGA 🤔 pic.twitter.com/bCLs6jJIGVJuly 27, 2023
We're on to you, Tom Warren Senior Editor of The Verge. We're on to you, Microsoft marketing team. Clearly, the next big acquisition coming out of Xbox is SEGA, right? Well, ok, maybe not. But hey! You should try Microsoft Edge if you haven't before, it's actually pretty decent these days, and you can rest assured that it has a far cooler mascot than Google Chrome, whose mascot is, of course, the notorious RAM Reaper.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!