Published: Tue, April 09, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Microsoft's Chromium-powered version of Edge now available

Microsoft's Chromium-powered version of Edge now available

Google has a tight hold on the web browser space after Microsoft's Internet Explorer dropped off a cliff at the start of the decade.

Microsoft's first Canary and Developer builds are now available to download.

The Canary Channel will be updated every night, giving you a glimpse into what Microsoft spent the day before working on.

For those that aren't familiar with Chromium-browser release schedules, the Canary channel is updated on a daily basis, always giving you the most up-to-date version of the browser.

Microsoft Edge Dev channel - Updated weekly. Those Dev Channel builds have gone through a fair amount more testing than Canary Channel builds, so while the possibility of encountering bugs is still there, it probably won't happen as often. This support was first implemented with Chromium 73 and is actively in development to further improve performance and battery life on these devices.

Tip: Web developers may want to check out the Microsoft Edge Dev blog post that reveals developer related information, e.g. features or how devs may contribute.

What this means is that you can download a preview build of Edge that is a window to the future where Microsoft hand off responsibility for how websites are rendered, to the open sourced project Chromium. Like the current Edge browser, the homepage also displays a news feed with tabs for certain categories (news, sports, entertainment, etc). Microsoft suggested that its test releases can work alongside current Edge browsers for Windows 10 without conflicts.

The 27-slide Power Point identifies Identity and Single Sign-On (SSO), PlayerReady DRM, and Services integration as early changes, alongside more subtle additions such as smoother scrolling protocols in BlinkGen Property Tree (BGPT) Memory Reduction in DLL prefetching and Native Caret browsing among others. We got our first look at the store's solid range of offerings a few weeks ago. The company plans to release previews for other operating systems, including macOS, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, later.

The new version of Edge is based on Chromium, an open-source project run by Google.

The developer version of the new Edge browser looks and functions similarly to Google's Chrome browser, although Microsoft is still working to add a number of unique features to the platform.

Sync works only for Microsoft accounts, not for work or school accounts. The test builds also doesn't fully support media casting yet.

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