Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is out and ready for testing

Microsoft's New Chromium-Based Edge, Now Available to Download - Petri

Microsoft says that it is "very much focused on the fundamentals" with these early builds, which means that a lot of features (like wider language support) won't be there at the start. If your must-have extension isn't already on that list, then you'll eventually be able to download apps from the Chrome Web Store. Now, you don't need to bother with that, as Microsoft is making its Chromium version of Edge available. For now, you can only download add-ons from the Microsoft Store.

The core difference between the different versions of Edge is the frequency of releases. In the more than three years that have since elapsed, however, the browser hasn't exactly managed to capture a meaningful share of the desktop browser market.

Apple's Safari, a cousin to Chrome, and Mozilla's Firefox remain independent. The next closest competitor is Internet Explorer at just 9.83 percent. Chrome arrived a decade ago, built on the same WebKit core as Safari. The move particularly incensed Firefox developer Mozilla, which said that Microsoft was "officially giving up" and conceding to Google. You can add other search engines if you want. Users can use their work and personal accounts, and they can use multiple identities "at the same time in different browser sessions" with the new Edge browser.

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Microsoft found itself in a battle against Google, whose almost entire bottom line is based on what happens in a web browser, with its own internally developed engine. By harnessing the open-source Chromium engine, Microsoft can offer Edge users better web compatibility. The Redmond giant has notably brought both Canary and Dev builds of Chromium-based Edge browser that are available for download on Windows 10 PCs. It doesn't contribute user experience types of changes back to the Chromium project.

Other changes are deeper under the hood. Chromium could improve Edge for people content to use whatever browser comes with their operating system, but everyone else. eh. The Dev channel is updated on a weekly basis, and for the most part is more stable than Canary. Those Dev Channel builds have gone through a fair amount more testing than Canary Channel builds, so while the possibility of encountering bugs is still there, it probably won't happen as often.

First published April 8, 9:30 a.m. PT. Update, 10:03 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. PT: Adds further background and details. The Canary name refers to the canary-in-the-coal-mine idea for keeping a constant eye on whether something is going wrong.

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