The new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge will launch in January with some key features missing in action. That’s a bit surprising, given the news that it will also be bundled immediately with Windows 10. What’s the rush?
Microsoft announced this past Monday that the new Edge will become generally available on January 15, 2020. And it considers the latest Edge beta—available through the Edge Insider Program—a so-called “release candidate,” even though the Windows team no longer uses this term. (And even though it’s nonsensical to call the Beta channel release anything other than a beta. Let’s move on.)
Those who have been using the new Edge in Canary (nightly updates), Dev (weekly updates), or Beta (updated every 6 weeks) form were likely curious about the January “release” date, given that the current version of the product is still missing key functionality, most notably extension sync, but also history sync. But they won’t be ready in time, and Microsoft told Neowin that they just were “not important enough.”
This is an issue because Microsoft has also said that the new Edge will ship as part of Windows 10 as soon as it’s released. So the firm is not waiting for the next major upgrade, Windows 10 version 20H1, to make this change. Instead, it will ship the new Edge to PC makers immediately, even though it’s incomplete, and roll it out automatically to current Windows 10 users as well. Microsoft will not support running legacy Edge side-by-side with the new Edge either; when you install the new Edge, it will replace the old version.
Less problematic, but also worth pointing out, is that the new Edge will likewise not ship on Xbox One, HoloLens, Linux, or Windows 10 on ARM in January either. So I guess the date is kind of a soft launch, with incomplete releases on Windows 10, 8.1, and 7, and Mac.