Microsoft Releases First Preview Of Its Chromium-based Microsoft Browser


Microsoft has officially released the first public previews of its Chromium-based Edge browser. Early downloaders report it's very stable and performs well, perhaps even better than Google Chrome on Windows 10 despite being built on the same Chromium open-source project.

Microsoft will release Canary and Developer builds and offer daily or weekly updates to changes coming to Edge.

The previews are available on Microsoft's Edge insider website.

Chromium-based Edge Rolls Out

This early version of Edge built on Chromium is all about the fundamentals of browsing, reliability, and extension support, and Microsoft is seeking feedback on its first attempt. The Verge notes that the browser works "surprisingly well" and even supports existing Chrome extensions, which is true of any Chromium-based browser.

In addition to those extensions, Microsoft will build sync support so users can access their favorites, browsing history, and other stuff on devices where chromium-based Edge will be available. Favorites is the only thing supported at the moment, but sync support will eventually include more.

Google And Microsoft Working Together

Engineers from both Microsoft and Google are collaborating on the project, improving the underlying Chromium source to Chrome and Edge could run better on Windows. Microsoft has had around 150 commits accepted into Chromium, which paves the way for a number of improvements to Edge and Chromium on Windows 10.

Not everything the two companies have worked together on is fully represented in the browser just yet, explains Joe Belfiore, corporate VP at Microsoft. As such, he advises users to "stay tuned."

The leaked version of Edge that surfaced online a couple of weeks ago isn't that different from the official previews, it's worth noting. Edge on Chromium feels and performs similarly to Chrome for the most part, although one can argue it runs more smoothly. Microsoft's Fluent Design tweaks might separate this version of Edge from other Chromium-based browsers in terms of aesthetics. Plus, the Redmond company might add existing Edge features such as setting aside tabs or inking in the future.

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