When the sources that record the web browser usage from people all over the world suggested that Chrome was becoming the heavily favorited web browser to use after Microsoft did away with Internet Explorer, it was nervous times for Microsoft. When Microsoft’s replacement web browser, Microsoft Edge, apparently wasn’t able to load webpages as well as Google Chrome, it was officially panic stations.

The good news for Microsoft is that it has such a stranglehold of the operating system market that no matter what mistakes they make, they do — at least for now — have a chance of coming back from them and making amends. And if the first look at the new Chromium-powered Microsoft Edge web browser is anything to go by, they’re about to do just that.

Edge Upgrades Its New Tab Loading Animation

One of the features that Edge tried to do differently to Google Chrome was to show the new tab loading animation on the toolbar instead of the tab. When you have the animation on the toolbar, it is more noticeable — that was the first problem. The old Edge animation also didn’t relate to anything fast; you had a sluggish looking symbol taking its time to work around the circle. Neither of these two things did Edge any favors in giving the appearance that it was loading webpages quickly (or quicker) than Google’s Chrome that had recently taken up so much of the web browser market share.

While we still aren’t overly joyed about the animation itself — it still gives the appearance of a fairly sluggish loading taking place rather than a quick one — the fact that it is loading around the website favicon and from the browser new tab page itself is definitely the best way to go.

On another positive note, the new tab loading animation has changed and is better than it was before. The older version would start spinning quick but then slow down when it did its rotation. The circle in the newer version of Chrome doesn’t visibly slow down as much, and that does give the appearance of it becoming more of a “snappy” load rather than a sluggish one.

This is probably the feature that we’re most excited about, because when you’re browsing the Web all day, you have to see the animation loading so often. If it isn’t sitting right with your head, then it can be enough for you to start taking a look around at other web browsers to use instead. And if people do start looking around, they’ll see a very crisp-looking Google Chrome ready to take your views away. But since we’re Microsoft fans and curious as to what Microsoft is developing, we’ll give Edge a close look and a good, long, chance to steal our hearts.

Sound Icons Are Back On Tabs

It appears as though Microsoft is considering putting the sound icon next to the website’s logos which you can then click on to mute and unmute a website. This is a feature that Chrome reportedly got rid of a long time ago, but in reality, it’s still there in Chrome — you just have to right-click on the tab and then select “Mute and “Unmute” from the menu instead. If you have a site muted in Chrome, then the icon stays on the tab until it is unmuted.

If Microsoft is considering having sound icons on tabs full time, we’d have to go against this decision. The way Chrome has got it now makes a lot of sense — it’s fine to look at a sound icon when you have muted a website to help you remember what has been muted but to have sound icons on every webpage that you visit seems a bit extreme. We think this is added clutter the tab could do without. Perhaps using Chrome’s idea but making the “Mute” and “Unmute” options appear as icons (or different in some way) would be a better way to go about it.

Tab Previews Are Gone by Default But Can Be Enabled in Flags

Microsoft Edge has the same flags page as Google Chrome where you can customize your optional features. While the average user might not care too much about optional features, keeping the Microsoft fanbase happy is important to Microsoft and so catering to them and their computer needs is going to be a wise idea to make sure they stay on the Windows train. The reality is that many Windows users have gotten very familiar with Chrome lately, and a lot of the Windows power users are very aware of the Chrome flags page. This, along with the ability to use Chrome extensions from Chrome, is going to help Windows fans use Edge.

Most people weren’t aware that Edge was named after the type of coding that the browser was being based on, but what has made a lot of news is that Edge wasn’t working properly. This time around, people realizing that Edge is now a Chromium-based browser might mean something. And from what we can see so far, we’re guessing that more people will warm to the new Edge once it’s released.

More Chromium Edge screenshots: