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A first look at Microsoft’s new Chromium-powered Edge browser


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A first look at Microsoft’s new Chromium-powered Edge browser

 

This could be your new default browser on Windows

 

twarren_edgechromiummain_1.0.jpg

 

 

Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser on Chromium. The software maker has been testing versions of this browser internally at Microsoft, and now The Vergehas secured an exclusive first look at the early work thanks to a source who wishes to remain anonymous. While the previously leaked screenshots made Edge look very similar to Chrome, Microsoft is adding its own touches and animations to make it look and feel like a Windows browser.

 

When you first install the Chromium version of Edge, Microsoft will prompt you to import favorites, passwords, and browsing history from Chrome or Edge (depending on your default). The setup screen also prompts you to pick a style for the default tab page before you start browsing. 

 

Most of the user interface of the browser is a mix of Chrome and Edge, and Microsoft has clearly tried to add its own little touches here and there. There’s a read aloud accessibility option, and it simply reads the page out loud like it does in existing versions of Edge. Some features that you’d expect from Edge are missing, though. Microsoft hasn’t implemented a dark mode just yet, the set aside tabs feature isn’t available, and write on the web with a stylus is missing.

 
twarren_edgechromium_1.jpg
 

Microsoft also has support for extensions, and a dedicated extensions page for ones that it has approved. You’ll also be able to install Chrome extensions from Google’s online store, just by flipping a switch in the extensions settings. We’ve tried a number of extensions like 1Password and Ghostery, and they work just like you’d expect them to in Chrome. 

 

Microsoft is offering up sync support for extensions in the settings interface for this new version of Edge, but it doesn’t look like it will be available straight away. The page notes that “more of the features listed above will become available for sync in the coming months.” You can only currently sync favorites, but not settings, history, extensions, open tabs, passwords, and autofill information.

 

For an early version of Edge built on Chromium, Microsoft’s new browser feels very polished. It’s also very fast to launch and browse around with. If Microsoft can keep up this good work and keep Edge optimized in the future, I can’t see a reason to need to use Chrome on Windows anymore. I would never have recommended Edge before as it was often slow, clunky, and didn’t always work with websites properly. This new Edge feels entirely different, thanks to its Chromium backend.

 

It’s not yet clear when Microsoft will make this new version of Edge available publicly, but given the most recent internal builds are stable and work well, it’s likely to arrive very soon. We’ll keep you updated on exactly when Microsoft plans to start beta testing its Chromium-powered Edge browser.

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Saw a video about the new edge chrome, and damn! it looks really nice for my taste. I can now go ahead and totally remove google chrome and just use the build in Edge chrome when it drops along with Firefox and never have to look back at chrome at all.
Having Microsoft team to work on chromium code is a good thing to see. Waiting to get hands on it soon. (Don't want to go to insider, once its ready and stable.)
 

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The AchieVer

Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge Browser Screenshot Tour 

Microsoft is still giving the finishing touches to the first preview build of its new browser, but an early version made the round earlier today, allowing everyone to see what this project is all about.

 

Microsoft is still giving the finishing touches to the first preview build of its new browser, but an early version made the round earlier today, allowing everyone to see what this project is all about.

 

In short, with the new Microsoft Edge browser, the software giant is making the transition to the most successful browsing engine to date.

Edge will thus transition from EdgeHTML to Chromium, the very same engine that’s also being used by Google Chrome, currently the world’s number one browser. With this change, Microsoft says that it can not only improve its Windows browser, but also contribute to the whole WWW ecosystem with its know-how and resources, eventually improving the experience of everyone online.

The new Microsoft Edge is thus expected to see daylight at some point in the next months, while the preview build should be here any minute now.

The screenshots below reveal the leaked version of Microsoft Edge running in Windows Sandbox for obvious reasons, so some small details could change by the time the browser becomes publicly available.
 
Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser
 
 

First and foremost, despite being based on Chromium, the new Edge actually feels more modern than Google Chrome, and it’s most likely because of the clean approach that Microsoft has used.

All visual elements are closely refined, and I must admit that I like this, especially because it comes from Microsoft, the company which has always struggled to build a mature browser.

The migration to Chromium leads to some major changes in Edge, so while Microsoft tried to retain the familiar look and feel of the Windows 10 browser, you’ll notice several elements that are very similar to the ones in Chrome.

For example, the settings screen no longer opens in a sidebar, but in its very own tab, with options organized in straightforward categories that are easy to manage.

Additionally, Edge can now install all Google Chrome extensions from the Chrome Web Store, but at the same time, there’s also a dedicated store maintained by Microsoft and which will most likely be offered as the preferred destination for all users.
 
Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser
 
 


There is no dark mode for the time being, and the only visual settings that you can modify are the home button and the favorites bar, the zoom level, and fonts. Other than that, what you see is pretty much what you get too.

Like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge comes with account support, but this time it doesn’t use Google. Instead, you can log in with your Microsoft account and you can click the profile picture in the toolbar to begin the process. You will then be able to sync passwords, payment info, and other details across devices.

Microsoft Edge is supposed to also land on other platforms, like macOS, and it is already available for download on Android and iOS. As a result, sync features definitely come in handy, making the transition from desktop to mobile quite a breeze.

The essential feature package is already there, but it’s pretty clear that Microsoft still has a lot of work to do in order to make the new Edge browser a true competitor to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

At this point, the performance of the browser isn’t really the best of all, but let’s not forget this is a leaked version that reached the web through unofficial channels. Everything is supposed to be substantially refined in the coming months, so when the application is ready for the public launch, Edge should work at least as smoothly as Google Chrome.

For now, the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is definitely a welcome evolution of the Windows browser, so it’ll be interesting to see how the project evolves.

 

 

 

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