Based on Google’s Chromium open source engine, the Edge browser is now available in beta. Microsoft announces the release of a “stable” version for the end of the year or current in 2020 at the latest.
Microsoft Edge Chromium Available in beta on Mac and Windows
Since the advent of Windows 10 , Edge has never really been successful. To set the bar, Microsoft has taken the initiative to learn from its competitor Google to develop a browser of a new kind: Edge Chromium , otherwise called Chredge . After months of preliminary testing on versions dubbed Canary and then Dev, Microsoft now offers the beta version of the browser.
It is now available for Windows 10, 8 / 8.1, 7 and macOS. The browser is based on the same basis as Google Chrome , the open source Chromium engine found elsewhere on other browsers, such as Vivaldi, Brave , or Russian Yandex.
Very close to Google Chrome
The browser will be updated every six weeks until the release of the best expected stable version by the end of the year or early 2020. Unlike Edge which is nested with Windows 10 , the browser will be available as ‘ Application independent from the Microsoft Store .
This beta version, which we have installed, still contains bugs , but remains relatively stable. For the moment, the navigation appears very fluid, but we tested the browser without any extension.
During its installation which requires almost no action, the browser can automatically import browser favorites already present. Apart from the presence of the search engine Bing! by default and a slightly more angular design, it looks like Google Chrome. For the moment, navigation seems fluid.
Edge and Chrome: what do Microsoft and Google reserve for us?
Now that Microsoft has opted for the Chromium engine, Edge and Chrome browsers will have the same basis for development, and both competitors will focus on data security and privacy.
Microsoft is abandoning its current Edge browser, based on the EdgeHTML rendering engine, and replacing it with a new browser of the same name based on the free Chromium project. This means that Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers will start from the same source code , with each publisher developing it in its own way to create unique software .
However, both firms are also involved in the Chromium project. Any evolution of one browser can potentially affect the other, depending on whether the change is introduced in Chromium or added overlay after.
Chrome will integrate the blocking of cookies
The two firms are currently working on their own side to better protect privacy . At Google, this focuses primarily on advertising cookies . Cookies are small text files that allow sites to automatically recognize identified users or save some information, such as site preferences. Some actors of the web divert them to make real cookies that follow your navigation and thus provide targeted advertisements.
Google plans to offer a new tool that will give more information about advertising cookies and will block them. The company would have spent six years on this feature, while the Safari and Firefox browsers already include a similar tool.
Note that Google has its own advertising platform. This tool will certainly affect third-party platforms, encouraging websites to opt for ads provided by Google to preserve their revenue …
A blocker of ads and cookies in Edge
Microsoft is also working on a similar tool, but much more comprehensive. Edge should include a new feature that will block cookies and scripts used to track users and limit targeted ads. This tool will be set up via settings in the options panel, with three levels of blocking.
The permissive level allows anything but malicious tracking elements. The “balanced” level blocks tracking scripts and cookies from sites that have not been visited and reduces the amount of targeted advertising. Finally, the “strict” level blocks all tracking and reduces targeted advertising to a minimum, but could render some sites unusable.
Towards a better respected private navigation?
According to the 9to5Google site , Microsoft would also work to make private browsing more private. Currently, with the PC version of Chromium, the entered text is analyzed by the Windows prediction services, including in a private browser window .
Microsoft has decided to correct this error at the Chromium project level. The capture will be protected in the private browsing windows in both Edge and Google Chrome .
While a Mac version will be offered, Microsoft will also integrate an Internet Explorer mode in the Chromium version of Edge that will open sites still requiring this browser in a compatible mode in a new tab. Finally, the company has also announced a new function called Collections that allows to consolidate web content such as pages, text or images, and organize or send it to Word or Excel.
Microsoft: Ultimate Internet Browser with Edge and Chrome Alliance
A pre-release of Microsoft Edge under Chromium has leaked and it could upset the highly competitive market of Internet browsers. If the Windows 10 browser relies on the Chrome engine, who will still want to install Google’s browser?
The current browser market is essentially a fight between three competitors: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, each using its own rendering engine. However, Microsoft announced last December to abandon the software in its current form to rely on Chromium, the project that is the basis for Google Chrome.
That means the end of the EdgeHTML rendering engine, and therefore the use of the Blink engine, like Chrome or Opera.
If Microsoft has not yet launched a public beta of the new version of the Edge under Chromium, some have been able to get their hands on the development version, which has the number 75.0.3744.0. The result is a browser that looks and works like Google Chrome. This could harm Google because it will be integrated directly into Windows 10 .
Why install Chrome if the computer already has an almost identical browser? This could have a big influence for the web to come, the two giants must now cooperate for the evolution of the Chromium project and the adoption of new standards.
A little more than a copy and paste of Chrome
This version of Edge 75, however, brings differences with Chrome, and reveals a little more the vision of Microsoft for its browser. The transition from Chrome is very simple since Edge offers to directly import favorites, history and other personal data. Microsoft has changed the layout of the interface to be consistent with other software in the firm, such as adding a menu on the left side of the settings. The Redmond giant has also added its own services to replace those that Google includes in Chrome, such as Windows Defender SmartScreen, which performs the same role as secure browsing.
Microsoft has also created a browser extension catalog for beta testers, which contains over 80 add-ons like Adblock, Boomerang, LastPass, and Dashlane. This catalog should fill up quickly enough, the new version of Edge is compatible with the extensions of Chrome. It will however allow in the settings installation from the catalog of Chrome, Edge considering all other sources as “unverified”.
A pre-version still in development
Finally, Microsoft has also added new ” flags “, experimental hidden options. To access features still in development, either on Chrome or Edge, just go to the address chrome: // flags . Additions in Edge include rendering Microsoft Fluent style forms , a dark theme, DRM PlayReady protection, and installing extensions from the Microsoft Store.
However, until now, Edge had features that are missing from Chrome, such as the ability to annotate web pages, or a much more advanced PDF viewer , with features like document annotation, Windows Ink integration, or still the vocal synthesis of the text.
Currently, these features are missing in Edge 75, but it’s not even a public beta yet. It will be necessary to wait for the release of the final version to know if Microsoft intends to integrate them.