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Microsoft revamps code architecture of Edge browser to achieve faster load times

Microsoft revamps code architecture of Edge browser to achieve faster load times

In relative silence, Microsoft has recently improved the performance of its Edge browser, achieving a better (loading) user interface performance. The company indicates that an entirely new underlying code architecture has been introduced for this purpose.

In recent months, Microsoft has been making several improvements to its Edge browser under the radar, the tech giant recently announced. The improvements mainly focused on optimizing the browser’s performance. The changes are based on telemetry data Microsoft receives about this performance from end users.

In Edge versions 122 and higher (the most recent one being 125.0.2535.6) the user interface now loads 42 percent faster than before. For devices without an SSD and less than 4GB of RAM, loading time has even been accelerated by 76 percent. As of Edge version 124, folding in and out the list of favourites is now 40 percent faster.

In the coming months, Microsoft will also improve other browser applications in Edge. These include browsing history, downloads, and wallet.

Amount of necessary code addressed

According to Microsoft, performance improvements result from addressing the amount of code used. Based on telemetry data, the company realized that code bundles used by components of the Edge browser were too large. This was because, on the one hand, the organization of the UI code in the browser was not modular enough, allowing one part of this code to slow down other parts. This caused certain components to share certain data unnecessarily.

On the other hand, lots of code used a framework that relied on JavaScript to render the user interface in a process called ‘client-side rendering’. This has been a popular trend among developers over the past decade. It has allowed them to be more productive and allows for more dynamic UI experiences.

Ultimately, it turned out that the client-side rendering method causes a huge delay before end users see the user interface. This particularly affects end users with low-end devices.

New underlying architecture

With the update, Microsoft has ensured that the user interface loads faster via the new architecture. This markup-first architecture reduces the size of code bundles and the amount of JavaScript code required to launch the user interface. Microsoft calls this development WebUI 2.0.

This new internal UI architecture is more modular, relying on a repository of web components specifically adapted for modern Web engines.

Furthermore, new web platform patterns have been added, making it easy to introduce new browser features that stay within the new markup-first architecture and unlock the most optimal capabilities.

Also read: Microsoft Edge Workspaces turns browser into a collaboration hub