Microsoft's Chromium-powered Edge browser is now officially available to download

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The first official release of Microsoft’s Chromium-powered Edge browser is now available to download for Windows 10.

Microsoft in December announced plans to overhaul its Edge browser with the Chromium open source project serving as its base. The Redmond tech giant said the project aimed to create better web compatibility for customers and less fragmentation for web developers. An experimental version of the browser found its way online last month. Installing leaked software is always a gamble although in this instance, there haven’t been any reports of tampering with.

According to NetMarketShare, Edge’s desktop market share currently sits at just 4.4 percent. Chrome, by comparison, has managed to capture 65.5 percent of the pie. The next closest competitor is Internet Explorer at just 9.83 percent.

Microsoft’s first Canary and Developer builds are now available to download. Canary builds are updated almost every night to keep Insiders current with what Microsoft is actively working on. Dev builds, tested by the Edge team, get updated weekly and are thus more stable than Canary builds.

Beta builds as well as support for Mac and other versions of Windows are expected at a later date.

Lead mock-up courtesy Bryce Durbin

Permalink to story.

 
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ShadowDeath

TS Addict
I still can't get over how Microsoft can't get their own IE and Edge to run properly on their own OS.
I'll be honest I've never liked Edge but as of late I feel like it's gotten a bad rep. When it was first introduced it suffered because of the lack of extensions as well as the mind set of "IE has all sorts of security flaws so this must too". Then when extensions were enabled and they started getting a bunch of the ones I usae daily I tried to use it. I couldn't figure out why but for some reason Edge went from full speed to a hault with just a few extensions. A few months ago, while running Firefox Nightly, I got a notification from Firefox that one of my browser extensions had been running a script for way too long. Turns out Last pass kept running a script when it should have stopped. A little trial and error and I determined that LastPass was the issue with both Firefox and Chrome slowing down the longer I had them running. A little more testing and I noticed that Edge had a night and day performance difference with that extension on and off... I mean.. It went from dial up page load speeds to instant with it disabled.

So that's one.. If you use LastPass I recommend you look for an alternative. I've turned to using Bitwarden and so far so good.

Another is Google has had a recent history of running code on their site that slows any browser that isn't Chromium based. Firefox and Edge both fixed this in a recent patch.

I think this switch to Chromium based browser will help Microsoft and possibly hurt Chrome. Suddenly it has Chrome's code base so it gets the same security fixes with Microsoft's enhancements like 4k netflix which was recently mentioned on other sites. Honestly after all this I don't see much reason for myself to download Chrome since I don't use Google anymore. The only thing I use of theirs still is an Android phone and that's because the alternative comapny is worse. >.>
 

Verrm

TS Enthusiast
So...what's the point of this new browser again? And why not just use Chrome or Chromium?
Because why would you bother installing them when all you have to do on fresh win10 install is to log in to your microsoft account? From this point on even people that know more about computers will see little reason in installing other browsers. I'm not sure if you see how huge of a deal this is for other browsers. If Edge gets good others will see major downfall of interest.
 

OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
Edge the last 3 years every time you open it: Look how much faster I am than Chrome! Chrome also drains your battery!

haha
 

GamerNerves

TS Rookie
At least Chomium behind Edge prevents Google from manipulating how well Edge works on different sites. Google has made some scummy moves and the results is Microsoft giving up, unless they plan something other like using Chromium as a base, but further altering it in a way that the engine becomes so far off the original that it can be considered their own creation. You can do that if I understand correctly when we are talking about Chromium and in many cases this applies to open source code programs in general.

My only hope anymore is that Microsoft really gets their notable market share and directs Edge to a direction where they decide webpage standards rather than Google. Maybe Chromium is so large as a base and supports so many modern webpage techniques that you can choose your own set of standards while not abandoning support for standards that many major Google owned sites prefer, like Youtube, Maps, etc.

I'm have no in depth knowledge of this subject, but I can tell you that Google controlling the webpage standards is not good. So even if you use Chrome or used Edge before shift to Chromium, I recommend continuing with Edge rather than Chrome. Firefox though is better than ever these days.
 

ShadowDeath

TS Addict
So...what's the point of this new browser again? And why not just use Chrome or Chromium?
Probably because apparently people still use the baked in browsers. 5.20% Edge and 7.34% IE. When you think about windows installs and uses that's a lot of people using the stock browsers. Some people use those two because they're there, like the older generation. They don't want or possibly know to use Chrome or Firefox. When you think about it these are likely part of the Windows XP holdouts who refused to upgrade and didn't want to give it up until they had to. So when you think about it. The new Edge will be based on Chromium which will get the latest updates and security fixes. Microsoft won't have to do much short of port their features over to the updated browser. In the end it's a win for it's customers and it looks better on Microsoft from a security stand point.

TL;DR: Some people still use the baked in browsers and just because we don't doesn't mean that they don't need to be updated or overhauled with the times for those who do.
 

onestepforward

TS Booster
I still can't get over how Microsoft can't get their own IE and Edge to run properly on their own OS.
And they couldn't re-write the code for Office to work on the new Windows 8.x interface, whilst at the same time singing the praises of its "modern" look and encouraging all developers to accept it. Microsoft, the software company rofl
 
At least Chomium behind Edge prevents Google from manipulating how well Edge works on different sites. Google has made some scummy moves and the results is Microsoft giving up, unless they plan something other like using Chromium as a base, but further altering it in a way that the engine becomes so far off the original that it can be considered their own creation. You can do that if I understand correctly when we are talking about Chromium and in many cases this applies to open source code programs in general.

My only hope anymore is that Microsoft really gets their notable market share and directs Edge to a direction where they decide webpage standards rather than Google. Maybe Chromium is so large as a base and supports so many modern webpage techniques that you can choose your own set of standards while not abandoning support for standards that many major Google owned sites prefer, like Youtube, Maps, etc.

I'm have no in depth knowledge of this subject, but I can tell you that Google controlling the webpage standards is not good. So even if you use Chrome or used Edge before shift to Chromium, I recommend continuing with Edge rather than Chrome. Firefox though is better than ever these days.
The changes to YouTube to slow it down on other browsers was a classic example of what you say.
 

Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
In-case anyone is testing this out and want to set Google as the default search engine:

Settings-->Privacy and Services-->Address Bar

{google:baseURL}search?q=%s&{google:RLZ}{google:eek:riginalQueryForSuggestion}{google:assistedQueryStats}{google:searchFieldtrialParameter}{google:iOSSearchLanguage}{google:searchClient}{google:sourceId}{google:contextualSearchVersion}ie={inputEncoding}

As the query.
 

Teko03

TS Evangelist
I still can't get over how Microsoft can't get their own IE and Edge to run properly on their own OS.
Edge runs great on Windows 10...the issue is that EdgeHTML does NOT render the web so well, which is because web developers are primarily developing for Chrome/Chromium compatibility...which means your comment about Edge/IE running bad on their own OS is irrelevant. The web isn't compatible with an operating system, it's compatible with a rendering engine.
 
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Mugsy

TS Evangelist
Well, we've officially come full circle.

The "new" Edge browser is based on "Chromium".
"Chromium" is based on "Chrome".
"Chrome" is based on "Internet Explorer".
The old "Edge" was also based on "Internet Explorer".

So we've gone from "based on IE" to "based on a browser based on IE."

I expect the eventual successor to the new "Edge" will be based on Netscape.
 

JamesSWD

TS Maniac
What drove me away from Edge was the inflexibility of how Favorite links are treated. I have thousands of links that I resort, archive, move around, re-organize, etc., on a regular basis, so maximum flexibility is a must...which Edge doesn't have.

For example, in any other browser, you can drag a link from Favs to the desktop or a folder...or drag a link from the desktop into your browser's Favs or a folder in there. And in other browsers, you can open any of the Fav's folders with a right-click to do more manipulation of links, similar to File Explorer.

Heck...you can even copy your entire Favorites folder over to a virgin folder to have a backup copy of them all.

But in Edge, you can't do any of this. I researched why a few years ago, so I'm a bit fuzzy, but it had to do with Edge's new way of creating & storing links as XML in a database or something like that, which is very unlike how it's done in other browsers and limits what you can do with them.
 

Axiarus

TS Evangelist
I still can't get over how Microsoft can't get their own IE and Edge to run properly on their own OS.
I'll be honest I've never liked Edge but as of late I feel like it's gotten a bad rep. When it was first introduced it suffered because of the lack of extensions as well as the mind set of "IE has all sorts of security flaws so this must too". Then when extensions were enabled and they started getting a bunch of the ones I usae daily I tried to use it. I couldn't figure out why but for some reason Edge went from full speed to a hault with just a few extensions. A few months ago, while running Firefox Nightly, I got a notification from Firefox that one of my browser extensions had been running a script for way too long. Turns out Last pass kept running a script when it should have stopped. A little trial and error and I determined that LastPass was the issue with both Firefox and Chrome slowing down the longer I had them running. A little more testing and I noticed that Edge had a night and day performance difference with that extension on and off... I mean.. It went from dial up page load speeds to instant with it disabled.

So that's one.. If you use LastPass I recommend you look for an alternative. I've turned to using Bitwarden and so far so good.

Another is Google has had a recent history of running code on their site that slows any browser that isn't Chromium based. Firefox and Edge both fixed this in a recent patch.

I think this switch to Chromium based browser will help Microsoft and possibly hurt Chrome. Suddenly it has Chrome's code base so it gets the same security fixes with Microsoft's enhancements like 4k netflix which was recently mentioned on other sites. Honestly after all this I don't see much reason for myself to download Chrome since I don't use Google anymore. The only thing I use of theirs still is an Android phone and that's because the alternative comapny is worse. >.>
The alternative company at least tries to protect your info. iMessage is encrypted end to end. They refuse to put in back doors too. I am a Android fanboy (Pixel 2) but Google is still...sketchy when it comes to my info.
 

Hirox

TS Rookie
So...what's the point of this new browser again? And why not just use Chrome or Chromium?
One lesser background service.
No more, Nearby messages, Link Doctor, "Google's own" Ad blocking, Google Now and other unecessary stuffs.
 
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erickmendes

TS Evangelist
Microsoft wasn't able to deliver a compeling browser thats also good enough to compete. I think that's the main point... If Microsoft can make the best Windows 10 browser with a chromium engine, that can win me over. Just give the option to have full control over my privacy then we have a deal.

That's why I use Bromite on Android. I don't wan't chrome sending data do Google. I don't sync nothing else anymore with Google/MS/Firefox. The last thing I need to do is make my phone use Bromite System Web View, but I need to root it and there's no root avaliable yet.

BTW, I'm using Chrome on desktop, with no sync enabled and all the tracking features disabled, still I would like to switch to something like Bromite but there's no desktop version. What do you guys recommend? I use some Chrome extensions, so I believe it must be chromium based.