The wait is over. Microsoft Edge Chromium is now available for download for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and macOS.
After months of development, starting January 15, 2020, Microsoft is beginning the slow rollout of the new version of Microsoft Edge based on the Chromium engine created by Google, which is set to provide better compatibility for websites and extensions, improves speeds and security. And because developers no longer need to worry about adjusting their websites for another platform, the new version also helps to reduce development fragmentation.
As for the interface, the version uses the same open-source platform, as such Microsoft Edge shares many design similarities found in Google Chrome. However, the company has been adding its own design touches and features for a product that looks a lot like the legacy browser that works just like (and arguably better than) Chrome.
Once you install and configure the browser, if you have been using the legacy version of Edge or Chrome, the experience will feel very familiar, which means that there won’t be a significant learning curve to understand the application.
At first glance, the browser looks similar like the legacy version of Microsoft Edge, and the way you open and close tabs, menus, and tabs work just like before, but without the “Set Aside” feature, and now there’s a profile button to manage settings or switch profiles.
When you open the Microsoft Edge settings that’s when things will be different. In this new version, the settings experience is similar to the Chrome experience. Instead of a flyout pane, the settings experience has a full-size page layout with a left pane navigation.
The new version includes support for extensions, and not just extensions from the Microsoft Store, you can also download and install extensions from the Google Chrome Web Store.
In addition, there’s also support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), which means that you can now install websites as native apps on Windows 10.
Alongside the new rendering engine, new user interface, support for web apps, and the new logo, in this first release, you’re getting other features, such as tracking prevention to improve your online security. There’s a new tab experience, which includes a number of customization options. You can choose between a light and dark theme. You can connect the browser with your Microsoft account to sync your information and settings across devices. However, with the initial release, history, open tabs, extensions, and collections won’t sync across devices.
Also, Collections, the feature designed to help you to easily collect text, images, videos, and other content into a note page won’t be available until a future release.