Microsoft's Chromium-powered Edge browser comes to Windows 7 and Windows 8

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Microsoft has released preview builds of its Chromium-based Edge browser for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, allowing users of Microsoft’s older operating systems to participate in its early development process.

Microsoft made its Chromium-powered Edge browser available to download on Windows 10 back in April before pushing it out to macOS last month. Bringing it to Windows 7 – an OS that is nearly 10 years old at this point – may seem like a misinformed move but the truth is, Windows 7 still has a sizable market share (33.59 percent, according to StatCounter) despite facing end-of-life status.

Microsoft urges users that experience issues or have feedback to use the “Send Feedback” tool in Microsoft Edge. The Redmond tech giant said it considers feedback essential to creating the best possible browsing experience.

The first Canary builds do have some known issues, Microsoft said. For example, they don’t yet have support for dark mode and AAD sign-in although both matters should be remedied soon.

Interested parties can nab Edge preview builds by visiting the Microsoft Edge Insider site from a Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 device.

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R

retsxel

Does it come with Playready DRM yet? It's completely useless if that's not in there yet.
You're using it for the wrong reason then.

Thing is, if people have no interest in using Edge on Windows 10, what makes MS think that people will want it on 7 & 8.1?

Pass in any case..
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
Microsoft: "GET OFF WINDOWS 7!!!"

Also Microsoft: "Hey look, a new shiny toy for Windows 7!"
Right? It's like they can't make up their minds.
Its called biding their time. Microsoft's hope is that people will at least use Edge enough that the company can make some money by harvesting and selling off their personal info. Obviously they stand to do better on Windows 10 where Edge is not only the default browser but militant about remaining so. Regardless, most of us still use something else because we already have cloud-based accounts and personal preferences. Obviously Microsoft is hoping against hope that people will actually accept a Microsoft account being rammed down their throats by Windows 10 and Edge - their not about software anymore but rather tracking and lock-in. Microsoft may also be hoping that it was their old browser engine slowing adoption..and to some extent their correct. Chromium is the most standards-compliant rendering engine, no question. The problem is that if you remove all the Google spying you also lose access to the Chrome extension repository. There are workarounds, of course, and it doesn't require that that much effort to implement them but the fact remains that if you don't embed Google's surveillance into your Chromium-powered browser you're not legally able to download extensions from Google. If the third party collections are sufficient (Opera's extensions, for example) then you're in good shape and can enjoy Chromium without Big Brother's nose up your keister. However, there's really no advantage at all to using Edge vs Google - you're just trading one bunch of spies for another. Microsoft also spies on your Windows 10 desktop activity by default unless you take pains to prevent it so giving away even more of your privacy by using their browser (or, God forbid, a Microsoft account) is simply bonkers. The open source Chromium browser is a decent compromise because it doesn't have quite as much Google spying baked in but can still use their extensions. You can also use a lot of those extensions to actually block the incessant tracking and profiling. This also works on Google Chrome but not as well..they have deeply embedded data collection that requires extra steps to block (firewall or other privacy software).

Ultimately, Microsoft and every other company are praying that people will forget that privacy is even an option and that their being monitored all the time. In Windows 10 your webcam and mic are being used to listen in and watch you 24/7 unless you disable it, and the company does nothing to make this simple. Same goes for Android. Sooner or later this is all going to blow up in our faces and the public will demand change. That's how it always goes.
 

Axle Grease

TS Addict
It may not yet have an MS made Dark Mode, but the canary builds do accept extensions from the Chrome web store. I use the Chrome extension "Dark Reader" on both Chrome and Edge
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Microsoft: "GET OFF WINDOWS 7!!!"

Also Microsoft: "Hey look, a new shiny toy for Windows 7!"
Apparently M$ can't retrofit Windows 10's tracking malware into Windows 7, at least not easily, since, (IMO), anyone with any sense has shut off updates altogether in their Window 7 installations. Apparently, M$ might be trying to cut their data sales losses, by allowing Chrome to do the data gathering for them.
 
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ScroogeMcDuck

TS Rookie
Pity that they're removing flash player. As much as I hate Google Chrome, they're at least planning a legacy mode for a "permanent" flash experience and a team dedicated to maintaining it beyond 2030. I'll be skipping Edge Chromium... it's even more sad that Swiffy was never equipped to convert AS2 to JS, but apparently it was impossible from the get go because there are certain things in Flash that are impossible to do in HTML5, so converting was never an option :(
 

axiomatic13

TS Maniac
You're using it for the wrong reason then.

Thing is, if people have no interest in using Edge on Windows 10, what makes MS think that people will want it on 7 & 8.1?

Pass in any case..
Why is that the wrong reason? Chrome cannot play 4k HDR because PlayReady is not in there. PlayReady is in original Edge and since I have an ACER Predator X27 original Edge is the only place I can watch 4k HDR on my PC.
 
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