The new Microsoft Edge browser is now available via Windows 10 virtual machines, allowing even users of other OS versions to try it out.
While Internet Explorer is still present in Windows 10, it takes a back seat to the newly-introduced Edge browser, which aims to more aggressively compete against the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft lost significant ground to rivals on the browser market in years, but the new Edge could help it regain some of that market share.
Boasting a number of neat features and functionality, the new Edge browser has already raised plenty of interest. The Microsoft Edge, however, is exclusive to Windows 10, which means that consumers who still use other platforms could not try it out.
Microsoft just changed all that, as the company just released Windows 10 virtual machines (VMs) designed to allow anyone to test their website in the Edge browser without necessarily having to upgrade to Windows 10.
"Today, we have updated the Microsoft Edge Dev site with major fixes and new features, including Windows 10 virtual machines with Microsoft Edge and a faster, clearer platform roadmap," Microsoft notes in a new announcement on its official Windows blog. "With these features, we are excited to remove the 'Beta' tag from Microsoft Edge Dev, and will be redirecting modern.ie to our new home."
New Windows 10 VMs now bring the latest updates to both Edge and the underlying web platform. At the same time, Microsoft notes that this release also marks the automation of the process it uses for virtual machine creation, which will translate to faster update availability.
The company further says it will support new formats for VMs, with QEMU and Vagrant boxes (with VirtualBox) as the first ones, set to roll out in the following weeks. Microsoft has yet to make Edge available via Azure RemoteApp, but it's working on it and will offer more information as it progresses.
The new Microsoft Edge is unlikely to make its way to another platform besides Windows 10, at least for a good while. Microsoft previously explained that, first of all, it wants to focus on Edge with Windows 10 and, if everything goes well, it may consider releasing the browser to other OS versions, such as the older Windows 7.
For now, Microsoft Edge remains a Windows 10 exclusive, but interested users can at least try it out through virtual machines without installing the new OS. To test how websites and apps work with Microsoft Edge, developers can download a VM that works with virtualization software on Mac OS X, Linux and, of course, Windows.
It's worth pointing out, however, that these VMs will work only for 90 days, after which users will lose their data. According to Microsoft, users might want to create a snapshot of an Edge VM so they can restore it later on.