Microsoft Releases Chromium Edge Browser


Microsoft will start rolling out an all-new version of its Edge browser via Windows Update on January 15, 2020. A standalone app is also available for multiple operating systems.

Why so important?

Microsoft Edge has been rebuilt from the ground up using the open source Chromium engine which powers Google Chrome, Brave, Opera, and many other web browsers.

This marks the end of Microsoft using its in-house browser engines that ran Internet Explorer and the original Edge. (By the way, If you are still using Internet Explorer – stop now.)

This is also a return to Microsoft going cross-platform with a browser – Chromium-based Edge is available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and macOS. Mobile versions of the browser are available for iOS and Android.

What's new?

Some highlights from the new Edge –

  • Fresh redesign

    A cleaner and more user-friendly interface than the old Edge, with a modern look, rounded corners, and a simplified start page. Edge also boasts a new, rather aquatic looking icon that hints at the old 'e'.

  • Google Chrome extensions

    Rejoice! Being Chromium-based means all those handy addons you use in Chrome can now be used in Edge too.

  • Settings interface

    Settings are now easier to manage and offer more options in a full-page layout, rather than the flyout panel favoured before. Chrome users should feel at home here.

  • Better performance

    Moving to Chromium means improved compatibility with all websites, not to mention less work for web developers! The browser is measurably faster than its previous incarnation, and did we mention that you can use Chrome Extensions? Now that Edge is decoupled from the OS release schedule, new versions can be pushed out to users faster, like a regular browser.

  • Improved privacy

    Tracking Prevention gives you detailed controls to block online trackers.

  • User profiles

    Set up the browser for multiple users, either locally or in the cloud. Cloud profiles let you sync all your browsing data across devices.

  • PDF viewer

    The inbuilt PDF viewer now lets you highlight, sign, and draw on PDFs and export them, without the need for a third-party application. This applies to both online PDFs and those saved locally on your computer.

  • Dark mode

    A dark theme can be turned on permanently for those that prefer pale text on a dark gray background.

  • Reading view

    Remove all the ads and clutter from web pages and just display the page content in an easy-to-read format, with customizable colors, font size, and spacing.

  • Collections

    An experimental feature that lets you create scrapbooks of text, links, images, and videos found around the web. Use Collections for brainstorming, planning presentations, project work, organizing trips, comparing products across shopping sites...

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

    Just like Chrome you can now install PWA websites as native Windows 10 apps.

Why use it?

Even if you’re not an Edge user now, this new version might be worth a test drive.

You essentially get the best of both worlds – the most popular browser engine in the world, so you know all major websites will be compatible, and Edge’s tight integration with Windows, including automatic updates and syncing of your favorites and history across devices.

Syncing is not just limited to Windows 7-10, but covers macOS, iOS and Android too if you use the Edge app on those platforms.

How do I get it?

If you are using Windows 10 Home or Pro, expect to see the new Edge listed in your available Windows updates over the coming weeks.

If you currently use Edge in Windows 10, your favorites, passwords, form information, and basic settings will get transferred to the new version of the browser.

Note that the new Edge is not a forced update for enterprise users – IT departments have the ability to block the update and issue it to users when ready.
All versions of Windows other than Home or Pro are excluded from being updated automatically. Devices running Windows 10 Home or Pro Edition that are joined to an Active Directory or Azure Active Directory domain, are MDM managed, or are WSUS or WUfB managed, will also be excluded from the automatic update.

For all Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android users, the new Edge can also be manually downloaded and installed from its official website.

Need Help with Windows?

For this or other issues with Windows 10, the Method IT team is here to help! Founded in Tokyo in 2004, we are a registered Microsoft Partner and offer fast and friendly English-Japanese bilingual support from native speakers.
Feel free to open a support ticket below to get in touch with one of our specialists!

Follow us for news on Windows 10, Office 365, and other Microsoft solutions

More Microsoft News ›