Microsoft Releases Its New Chromium-Based Edge Browser For Testing

Dhir Acharya - Aug 22, 2019

Microsoft Releases Its New Chromium-Based Edge Browser For Testing

Microsoft rolled out the overhauled web browser Edge Beta 1 and the company wants people to help it remove bugs so as to improve the tool before its launch.

On Tuesday, Microsoft rolled out the overhauled web browser Edge Beta 1 and the company wants people to help it remove bugs so as to improve the tool before its upcoming launch. It has built the new Edge based on Chromium, an open-source browser Google uses as the foundation for Chrome. The beta version is accessible for users of macOS, Windows 10, and Windows 7.

Microsoft rolled out the overhauled web browser Edge Beta 1

So far, Microsoft has released only quite unpolished Canary as well as dev versions which quickly received the latest changes but those are not tested well. The beta version is another step in Microsoft’s plan to offer an influential and useful web browser, helping the company restore its reputation in the world of browser tech.

Microsoft Windows Experiences corporate VP Joe Belfiore said:


You can now download the new beta at the Edge Insider website.

The tech giant hopes that it can release Edge’s new stable version late this year or early next year, according to Belfiore. Then, probably a few months from that, the company will switch the old Edge with the new one for all users of Windows 10.

Some may be pleased with other browsers like Chrome, but Microsoft has a large customer base and they are interested in this new Chromium-based Edge. Belfiore revealed that over 1 million copies have already been downloaded.

Why should we use the new Edge?

Microsoft envisions Edge as a more productive browser for work and personal tasks

Microsoft envisions Edge as a more productive browser for work and personal tasks, which will improve user privacy by protecting them from online tracking and running faster than other competitors. Belfiore said:


Other browsers such as Brave, Firefox, and Safari, are also looking to stand out from Chrome through more assertive stances for protecting users from advertisers and websites that want to track your behaviors on the Internet.

In addition, Microsoft is spending more effort on getting companies to test the new Chromium-based Edge.

While there are not many changes in the interface of the new Edge compare with the ordinary Chrome, the new browser brings about the new Collections feature that allows users to collect links, text, as well as other info they may sprawl across various tabs. They can save, share collections, and even export them as Excel spreadsheets. Though Microsoft debuted this feature in May, it was not until now that users can test this feature in Edge Canary.

The ups and downs in the browser power of Microsoft

Internet Explorer used to be dominant

Fifteen years ago, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the leader of web browsers; however, it languished and the company has failed to catch up again despite its increased enthusiasm for web tech in the Windows 10 era. Twenty years ago when Windows ruled computing, the company considered browser technology as a threat as it could work on whatever computing system, hence threatened Windows’ power. However, since Windows doesn’t dominate anymore, Microsoft wants to make its software work everywhere.

Also fifteen years ago, Mozilla challenged IE with its Firefox browser, but Chrome was the one to eventually push it aside. Over the past decade, Android and iOS smartphones appeared, making the success of Windows a limited victory.

In an attempt to start fresh, Microsoft launched a streamlined new Edge browser stripping out much of the code of the old IE, but it was no use. Then this year, the company stopped trying with that and rebuilt the Chromium-based Edge.

Silencing an independent browser voice

The new Edge is Microsoft's effort to start fresh

The appearance of the new Edge means we now have one fewer independent browser engine and the power of Google’s technology has been increased.

At the same time, however, Microsoft also has the opportunity to join the web technology where its Edge had failed. As stated by Belfiore, the old Edge was independent but the usage was low. He said that the company can have more influence if it contributes to building Chromium.


This also means that the new Edge should work with sites that aren’t compatible with the old version of Edge browser.

Staying close to Chromium

Joe Belfiore, corporate VP for Microsoft Windows Experiences

When Microsoft released the old Edge, it almost erased the gap in website compatibility with Chrome. However, it failed since it was extremely hard to close the last part of the gap considering the web’s scale, but failing to close the gap meant its browser was not good enough. After fighting for two years, Microsoft decided that it’s better to draw from and contribute to Chromium.

This means the company is relying on the success of Google. It will not only clone Chrome but will also create a different UI for the new Edge and bring about a different website interaction such as blocking online tracking. It also hopes to improve the browser’s performance with lower battery usage and smooth-scrolling responsiveness.

Microsoft doesn’t want to follow Google and mess with the important browser engine that processes and displays web pages. Google separated its Chrome from the WebKit of Apple. If Microsoft does the same thing, its Edge will once again pace the website compatibility issues, Belfiore pointed out.


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