At long last, Microsoft's Edge browser based on Chromium is here — only in beta, sure, but that's certainly better than nothing. Best of all, users can try the new browser right now.
Microsoft Edge beta will be available for all supported versions of Windows and macOS, and the company is encouraging both business and regular users alike to test the browser out and file reports if they spot some bugs. Thus far, there have been 1 million downloads of preview builds of Edge, and Microsoft says it's received over 140,000 items of feedback.
Beta, for the uninitiated, represents the most stable preview channel of a software. When an app enters the beta stage, that's usually a sign that it's almost ready for a wide release but still has a few bugs and kinks to be ironed out.
"Major version updates can be expected roughly every six weeks, alongside periodic minor updates for bug fixes and security," says Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's CVP for Windows Experiences.
Chromium Microsoft Edge Browser
Microsoft considers the beta version "ready for everyday use," and the company is backing this release with a bug bounty security program with rewards of up to $15,000 for researchers and developers who happen to discover vulnerabilities and flaws of varying importance.
Microsoft first pushed out Canary and Developer builds of its Chromium-based Edge browser in April, and it's spent the past four months working closely with Google to improve Chromium for Windows, having tallied 1,000 commits to the project thus far. Working in the context of Chromium also forced Microsoft to adapt to daily builds for Canary, weekly ones for Developer, and, now, beta builds every six weeks, a pace it's probably not used to.
It's not clear when the company plans to officially release a stable version of the browser, but basing on the way things usually go when it comes to software, it likely won't come out until early 2020. Microsoft has plenty of work left to do, including adding features it announced back at Build, plus improving the sync experience so that tabs, extensions, and more, are properly synchronized across different platforms.
How To Download Chromium Edge Browser
For those interested in trying out the new browser, it's available now via Microsoft's Insider page. A word of caution, though: as with any beta, this version isn't yet complete and may contain bugs, flaws, and other sorts of inconsistencies. It's best to report these issues to Microsoft once found so it can improve the builds even further.