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Microsoft Edge intros support for Brotli compression to enable faster page load times

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While switching to the Windows-as-a-service ideology a couple years back, Microsoft started laying immense focus on individuals entities of the software experience. The introduction of a new set of tools and a cohort of improvements in Microsoft Edge, all contribute to the vastly expansive list of features coming to the browser along with the Windows 10 Creators Update early next year.

With regard to the same, Redmond is looking to make the browsing experience faster and seamless by making the switch to Google’s open-sourced Brotli compression algorithm. It is being favored over the previous generation algorithms such as Deflate or Zopfli because it’s more efficient in terms of file size and CPU usage time.

The Brotli (lossless) compression algorithm open-sourced by Google back in September 2015. It uses a combination of a modern variant of the LZ77 algorithm, Huffman coding, and 2nd order context modeling to speedily compress and deliver files. Based on a completely new format as compared to the previous Zopfli algorithm, Brotli allows for 20–26% higher compression ratios.

Talking about the same, the official blog post reads:

Brotli is a compression format defined in RFC 7932, previously available as part of the WOFF2 font format. When used as an HTTP content-encoding method, Brotli achieves up to 20% better compression ratios with similar compression and decompression speeds (PDF).

The new compression algorithm has already been implemented on quite a handful of browser offerings such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera — which leads in addition of new features. Microsoft Edge is following pursuit to these category leaders and proving to be quite the messiah by adding new features which would’ve been expected to make an appearance in the Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has already integrated the Brotli algorithm in the Edge browser and the same will be available to Windows 10 Insider through the preview builds in the coming weeks — delayed due to UUP integration and holiday season. Users will be able to experience faster page load times, coupled with reduced data and power costs as well. Also, the blog post adds,

In the current preview release, Microsoft Edge supports Brotli on HTTPS and HTTP connections. In a future preview release, we will update this behavior to only advertise Brotli support on HTTPS connections.

The technology giant has recently also introduced support for the Payment Request API on Microsoft Edge to enable their browser compete against the likes of Apple and Google, who’re using their exclusive digital wallets for checkouts.

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