Microsoft Edge Heads to M1 Macs in Preview

Posted on December 17, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Mac and macOS with 25 Comments

Microsoft revealed last night that owners of M1-based Macs can now test a native version of Microsoft Edge in preview.

“You asked, and we delivered,” the Microsoft Edge team tweeted. “Native support for Mac ARM64 devices is now available in our Canary channel. Download it today from our Microsoft Edge Insiders website.”

That website has downloads for just about any operating system imaginable, including some that don’t even exist yet, like Windows 10X. But it’s also fair to point out that Microsoft is a bit behind its competition when it comes to M1 compatibility: Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are all available in native app form on the new Macs already, and not just in preview.

Still, a win is a win, and if I were to use a Mac for some reason, Edge would be my choice. Even in preview.

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Microsoft Edge Heads to M1 Macs in Preview”

  1. shmuelie

    I still want Edge on *nix

  2. winner

    And someday, Microsoft might even clean up their Windows UI.

    • angusmatheson

      In reply to Winner:

      on a fully updated windows PC, I had to adjust a “setting” and it wasn’t in settings. I realized that I had to go to my old friend control centers. Control center gave me that warm fuzzy feeling of playing an 8 bit game from my youth. Don’t think if it as a bug or lazy on Microsoft’s part - think if control center, ancient icon s and such as fun retro Easter Eggs in Windows 10.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Admit it. You laughed when you wrote that.
  3. ghostrider

    In reply to sammyg:

    It's pretty easy to disable/block the software reporter tool on Windows, either via local security changes or group policy. The tool is obviously designed to do something to assist, but happens to suck resources while doing it. Never heard of keystone - we don't use Mac's.

    Stop throwing your toys out of the pram and rather than moaning about it and thinking browsers like Edge will fix things (hint, they won't and being MS, will introduce new problems) just do what a good sysadmin should do.

    • sammyg

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Go ahead and do some research on the "Software_Reporting_Tool.exe".

      Yes you can delete it. You can block the folder its in by removing permissions. Google actually makes GPO's, we have the latest, that have an option to turn it off.

      One of the search returns you will probably find is the official Google chrome support form, where people are literally cussing at Google about this and how all methods are defeated by updates to Chrome. The most recent replies in that thread were "We had to get rid of Chrome to fix this issue". PC gamer forums complaining about the same thing, this tool running and using 35% of CPU or higher at times.

      The GPO for us does nothing, just like the GPO to limit the out of control web cache on the hard drive. User profiles with gigs and gigs of Chrome cache never shrink. There are support threads about this as well on Google site. We have a script that runs one a week to kill it, this tool and the cache.

      If Chrome is used to get out to the internet, then it will update per the user profile and restart that tool at some point, resetting the permissions as well. If you kill a user profile and then the first time they login it goes and gets that tool in the back ground.

      This tools is a Google add on to Chromium. Edge does not have it.

  4. wright_is

    In reply to Dan:

    Because it is already there... Chrome and Edge use the same code-base, which means that 90% of the coding already exists. The hard part has already been done, they just need to add their tracking code into the mix.

  5. 2ilent8cho

    We have started deploying M1 Mac's at work so this is good news as we advise against Google Chrome now as it installs something called Keystone which slows down the devices even when Chrome is not running and drains battery faster. If they need something other than Safari we say use FireFox or Edge if it needs the Chrome engine.

  6. smoothbond

    Can anyone explain why The Edge browser on the iPad doesn’t support trackpad gestures , like swipe back and forward on web pages? Safari, Chrome , Firefox all support this. That is the one thing stopping me from switching to Edge , as I like to have browser uniformity on the desktop , phone and tablet. It boggles the mind how this is not a feature and more importantly why nobody else complains about it.

  7. dftf

    In reply to Dan:

    Well, aside from the fact that there are news stories going back a year now saying Google has the ARM build ready, but can't release it for some sort of legal-reasons between it and either Qualcomm or Microsoft.

    Oh well, their loss. Microsoft Edge works fine, and can run all the same add-ons as Google Chrome so little-point in bothering with Chrome anyway!

    • sscywong

      In reply to dftf:

      I never saw such "news" and I can't see any legal reason that can bar a software vendor from compiling their software for ARM code base

      And if that's true then this should have affect all vendors including Firefox, which obviously didn't have any issue in releasing ARM build version

  8. SvenJ

    In reply to Dan: Yes, because the only reason other browsers exist is to be able to download Chrome, right?

  9. nine54

    If only Microsoft had shown this level of commitment with its own Windows apps for ARM. Hopefully it does so with 10X.

  10. Saarek

    Genuinely out of interest here, who are the people who requested Edge for the Mac and why?

    I know that people have personal preference, but if you're using a Mac surely you'd use Safari which is the fastest browser on the Mac?

    • chrisltd

      In reply to Saarek:

      Lots of sites don't play nice with Safari, partly because it hasn't adopted all the newer APIs that Chromium supports, and also because of Safaris more strict privacy protections. So, if you want Chromium, but don't want Chrome, Edge is a good choice.

    • behindmyscreen

      In reply to Saarek:

      People that Haaaaaate the Safari tabs.

    • avalancheccm

      In reply to Saarek:

      Think of it as an alternative to Chrome as opposed to Safari. Some people are heavily embedded in Google apps which run better on Chromium. Others heavily rely on Chrome extensions which are compatible with Edge. Edge also seems to be friendlier with battery and privacy concerns. I also like that it syncs with my Windows PC.

      • Saarek

        In reply to avalancheccm:

        That makes sense, I forgot that they were using Chrome as the engine for Edge. I don't ever use Chrome because it's a performance and battery hog and so for my needs Safari is far superior.

    • Scsekaran

      In reply to Saarek:

      Cross-platform- Mac & Windows, Developers

  11. richardbottiglieri

    It's pretty solid, and performance is on par with Chrome, but without all of the resource hogging and user tracking of Google's browser. If you need a Chromium browser, Edge is a no-brainer choice.

    The big surprise to me is how well Firefox 84 performs on Mac now, on both M1 and Intel machines (It's been very good on Windows for some time now). It's leapfrogged Chrome and Edge big time. I've been using this as my main browser for a little while now across my Windows 10, macOS, and iOS/iPadOS devices. I really hope they can survive.

  12. dftf

    Worth noting that Edge is actually one-area where Microsoft offered an ARM version (for "Windows 10 on ARM") before offering an ARM version for the new macOS 11.

    Oddly, Google Chrome still doesn't offer an ARM build for Windows (and neither do Brave or Vivaldi, from what I can see). So your options right-now for an ARM-native browser for W10oA is either Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox.

  13. nbplopes

    I use the Mac for all things productivity and don’t use Chrome as a primary browser for the web. Only use it for dev purposes.

    I’ll have a look at Edge Chromium. Never liked Chrome.

    The problem I have with MS is that I understand they apps and services do zillions of stuff, but most of it not that well. Including fundamental things. Don’t really like the idea of eternal betas ... sorry.