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In brief: Microsoft's original Edge browser never quite took off, but the company hoped to change that when it revealed its intention to move the browser over to the Chromium ecosystem. After months of beta testing, Microsoft feels the new Edge is finally ready for prime time and has launched it to the public.
The browser first arrived in beta back in April, but today's Edge launch should hopefully be a bit more stable and feature-rich than it was in the past. However, don't expect anything revolutionary here.
Download shortcut: Microsoft Edge for Windows and macOS
The new Edge has the usual array of privacy and tracking prevention features you'd expect from a modern browser, Windows 10 "[optimizations]" (whatever that means), as well as access to both the Microsoft Web Store and the Chrome Web Store for all of your extension-related needs. Pretty standard stuff, for the most part.
Of course, one of the most significant changes arriving with the browser is its new look. If you asked a casual internet user to take a look at the browser and guess what it is (without the help of any branding), they'd probably assume they were looking at Google Chrome.
Aside from a slightly different tab shape in Edge and a few tweaked icons, the browsers look nearly identical in every way. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean existing Edge fans will have to get used to an entirely new UI, which might be easier said than done.
Nonetheless, if you like the look and feel of Chrome but don't necessarily want to buy directly into Google's ecosystem (outside of using a Chromium browser, that is), the new Edge might be a solid alternative. There are a few notable differences, of course – Edge's default search engine is Bing, it offers Windows 10 users the ability to stream 4K Netflix video, and Microsoft has disabled or replaced several Chromium features for its new browser.
However, both pieces of software still offer a similar (or identical, in some cases) core user experience. Over time, Microsoft plans to roll out additional Edge-exclusive features to help the browser stand out, such as a "Collections" function that ties into Office 365, but they're still a ways off.
If you have any thoughts on the new Edge, whether they're positive or negative, feel free to drop them in the comments below.