Microsoft Launches the New Edge

Posted on January 15, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 53 Comments

Today, Microsoft is making the first non-beta version of the new Edge browser available on Windows and Mac.

“The new Microsoft Edge provides world-class performance with more privacy, more productivity, and more value while you browse and is twice as fast as legacy Edge,” Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore explains. “Our new browser also comes with our Privacy Promise and we can’t wait for you to try new features like tracking prevention, which is on by default, and provides three levels of control while you browse.”

I assume most readers are familiar with this new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge. The big question, of course, is how Microsoft intends to roll it out to users. And we finally have a clear picture of that process.

Those running Windows 7, 8.1, or 10, or macOS who want to get the new Microsoft Edge immediately can download it from the Microsoft website.

Or, Windows users who aren’t in any rush can simply wait for it to appear in Windows Update. When it is installed that way on Windows 10 only, your legacy Edge favorites, passwords, form fill information, and basic settings—but not extensions—will “carry over” automatically, Microsoft says. I suspect you’ll need to do some tweaking, regardless, to get it where you want to be.

IT admins can download the Microsoft Edge offline deployment package to pilot the new browser in their organizations, as it will not automatically deploy for commercial customers.

Perhaps most important, anyone currently using a pre-release Edge channel—Canary, Dev, or Beta—will not be upgraded to the release version of Edge. Instead, all of these versions can be used side-by-side, so you’ll want to go grab it manually.

Also, Microsoft promises that it will continue improving Edge this year, which makes sense since it’s shipping without some key features, most notably extension sync. And yes, interested parties can continue to test future Edge functionality using any of the pre-release channels going forward (as is the case with Chromium too).

Finally, the software giant also says that it “remains committed to actively participating in and contributing to the Chromium open source project.” Microsoft has made over 1900 contributions to Chromium—in areas like accessibility, modern input including touch, speech, digital inking, and more—since adopting this platform.

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Comments (53)

53 responses to “Microsoft Launches the New Edge”

  1. sherlockholmes

    I am running the stable version of Edge for a few weeks now. Its fine so far, but I dont see does it has any advantage over Firefox, except maybe PWA.

  2. dbarjim

    Will this new Edge Choromium browser be available via Windows Update or will I have to pick it up somewhere?

    • wright_is

      In reply to Dbarjim:

      Initial reports were that it would be coming via update today. But listening to Windows Weekly, it seems like it is manual install now and via update in a month or 2.

  3. robinwilson18

    Have they fixed favourite sync yet as this broke a while back (all channels) and remained unaddressed so I switched back to Chrome. I could add bookmarks but could never delete them as they just came back again.

    • michael_jones

      In reply to robinwilson18:

      They turned it back on anyhow and it's been in the beta for a couple weeks. I can't tell you if it works 100%, but i recently had a Surface swapped out for a new one and as soon as I installed Edge and told it to synch, all my stuff came over just fine.

      My only complaint is it doesn't actually sync the settings themselves. I turned off password memorization and synching for instance (I use LastPass). The new browser had them both on by default and did not turn them off as they are on my other computer.

      And I miss timeline integration.

  4. Daekar

    Just installed the stable version. So far so good, everything works.

  5. MikeCerm

    It's worth noting that for all of Microsoft's talk about privacy and tracking, if you use Edge and sync with a Microsoft account, your entire web history and passwords are sent to Microsoft in a way that they can read. Firefox sync is fully end-to-end encrypted, so Mozilla sees nothing and has no access to your data. Chrome sync works this way too, but only if you set a master passphrase. Microsoft doesn't offer any such privacy if you use Edge.

    • techguy33

      In reply to MikeCerm:

      I am hoping to see a new privacy/anti-tracking arms race between Brave, FF, and the new Edge. Looks like edge might have stumbled out of the gate.

    • paragon

      In reply to MikeCerm:

      The way you wrote this comment, you are assuming that Microsoft does not use end-to-end encryption for syncing Microsoft Account data. Do you know for a fact that Microsoft does not employ the same encryption standards as Mozilla and Google? You make an interesting point, it will be interesting to try and get an answer from Microsoft on whether they do use end-to-end encryption or not :)

      • MikeCerm

        In reply to paragon:

        Microsoft doesn't use end-to-end encryption for any of your account data. They do not employ the same encryption standards as Mozilla (which encrypts all data by default), or as Google (which provides secure encryption only when syncing with a secure passphrase). All data at rest on their servers is either readable by Microsoft, or is secured only by your Microsoft Account password, which Microsoft can reset. You can see what data they collect by logging into your Microsoft account, clicking on Privacy up at the top, and then Activity History.

        Chrome Sync works this way, too, if you don't use a passphrase. If you use a passphrase, all of the data that is synced is encrypted with that passphrase before it ever leaves your browser, and that passphrase is never sent to Google. If you ever forget your passphrase, there is no way to recover that data, you must reset syncing and start over. This is the way Firefox Sync works by default -- all info is encrypted with your Firefox account password before it goes to Mozilla's servers, and Mozilla does not know your password. If you need to reset your password, it's possible to do, but all existing synced data is lost because there's no way to decrypt it without your old password.

        This is not the case with Microsoft. If you forget your password, all of your synced data persists after a password reset, because it's not end-to-end encrypted with a password that Microsoft does not control. Of course, it's encrypted in transit (using TLS), and it's encrypted at rest (Bitlocker on their servers, I'd assume), but Microsoft has the keys and can access all of that data.

  6. brettscoast

    Thanks I got the spanish flavour blimey Microsoft what's up with this??

    • mattbg

      In reply to brettscoast:

      Ha - I got the Italian version, then the German version, and finally the English version on the 3rd try. Each time I refreshed the website it gave me a different installer :)

      Aside, I am impressed so far. As an Edge user with occasional need for Chrome, finally I can go down to just one browser.

  7. Sir_Timbit

    I was using Firefox when I first downloaded the stub installer. The installation started in Dutch! I cancelled, downloaded a second time from Edge, and that proceeded to install in English. Strange....

  8. mclark2112

    I had the whole IE mode finally working this morning, then I upgraded, and it's back to having a mind of its own. And of course, not working...

  9. edzucker

    Weird, I downloaded and installed twice and got Japanese version both times. I see I am not the only one. Will try again. After more tries I managed to add Canadian English as a language. The next install had a Japanese/English hybrid. From here I was able to finally get the language set to US English.

  10. techguy33

    Launched Brave and new Edge side by side. In Edge, went into "Settings/Privacy and Services" and set Tracking Prevention to Strict.

    In both browsers, opened the home page of Youtube.

    The Brave Shield indicator at the end of URL bar reports 11 trackers blocked.

    In Edge its not obvious what if anything was blocked (maybe this is a setting I need to find). In Edge, opened "Settings/Privacy and Services". In the Tracking Prevention box, clicked "Blocked Trackers-View the sites we've blocked from tracking you." Result is: Tracking prevention blocked 0 trackers.

    Seriously? Brave blocked 11 trackers on youtube that Edge wasn't able to in strict mode?

  11. justme

    Not running CrEdge on PC, but I have Edge installed on my IPhone. Last night, noticed that my installation had automatically updated to what I am presuming to be the new Edge (the icon changed and per settings, version is 44.11.9)...?

  12. igor engelen

    After running the beta for a about a month on Mac os i'm very happy with this browser. removed chrome and configured Edge (final version) as the default browser.

    Why? I trust microsoft more than Google, and I'm more invested in the Microsoft ecosystem than in Google's.

    Safari offers me no benefits over Edge.

  13. thismarty

    Damn, the Shopping portal is gone. And it was so essential.

  14. gregsedwards

    FYI, I installed the new Edge over the leaked stable build (not the Beta build), which I've been running for months, and it couldn't have been easier. It took approximately 37 seconds, I don't have multiple versions of Edge, and all my favorites and extensions are working just fine. Smooth sailing.

    • igor engelen

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      I've been running the beta for a while on Mac OS. Today I installed the final release and as soon as I added my microsoft account most of my settings were put back within a few seconds.

      The only thing I had to do manually was put the close buttons on the left side of the tabs via the flags, and choose google as default search engine again.

  15. starkover

    On windows 10 running Chrome, edge beta, and present but never used original edge, After update, no change in icons, but selecting the old edge icon opens new edge with a welcome page, Seems it upgraded even though I am running edge beta. Edge beta remains installed and functional. Needs icon update.

  16. skolvikings

    When I try to manually download the new Edge, I get what I assume is a terms and conditions form that I need to agree to. But it's in some other language. I have no clue what it says.

    EDIT: the issue resolved itself on it's own. Very weird. I have the new Edge installed now and so far it's nice. It's neat being able to add Chrome extensions... very handy.

  17. DragonMage

    Have they said anything about setting up Favorites sync between IE/Edge like they had in old version? and a simpler open in IE option like old Edge had would be nice.

    We push a favorites sub folder to users for company use and set sync policy for IE/Edge but I have not seen a way to do it for the new edge.

  18. wbhite

    All I want, in any browser, is the old "Set as Background" functionality that's existed in IE since forever. That still seems to be missing from new Edge. I know it's a minor thing, but for someone who changes their wallpaper frequently (but don't want to save the image itself), I still have to go to IE.

  19. My Hell baby speaking

    After comparing this to Firefox both with uBlockOrigin I do not see any speed advantage with Edge. And this with Firefox' disk-cache option switched off.

    I'm curious how Edge deals with pdf, though.

    Edit: Fonts look blurry in Edge, look crisp and even in FF. How is that?

  20. jeffrye

    Does this work with MS Family Safety filters and blacklists?

  21. sabasigh

    Hmmm, so i click on the Deploy Edge in the Enterprise documentation and they only have info on using Configuration Manager?

    Or InTune?

    I see docs on using GP to manage Edge, set as default, IE mode, other deployment method?

  22. Slvrgun

    Seems Microsoft is finally learning. This is so much better than Google Chrome.