Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Could Be Coming to Insiders Soon

Posted on February 26, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft, Windows 10 with 29 Comments

Microsoft’s big announcement at the end of last year surprised (almost) everyone: the company is adopting Google’s Chromium for the default Windows 10 browser, Microsoft Edge.

Back when the company first announced the move, it promised to start delivering preview builds of the new browser in early 2019. And considering we are just coming to the end of February, the company still has a little more time before we go into mid-2019.

From the looks of things, however, the new browser could be coming soon to Insiders. A Microsoft employee today tweeted screenshots of the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, showing off the new-ish logo for what seems like Microsoft Edge Canary:

Screenshots of the installer for the new browser was also leaked, and the graphic suggests that Microsoft has started readying the new browser for Insiders to test.

In terms of features, it’s still very much unclear what exactly Microsoft plans to change with the new Chromium-based Edge browser. Although Microsoft plans to contribute heavily to Chromium, one of the company’s initial focus is to improve accessibility on the engine. It intends to eventually bring the browser to other platforms like macOS, too.

Details of when or how Microsoft plans to test the new browser with Insiders remains unknown. There is a possibility the company will start off with a limited testing process, however. But considering Windows 10 19H1 development is almost done, we could soon be getting our hands on the new Edge browser based on Chromium.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Could Be Coming to Insiders Soon”

  1. dcdevito

    As you noted, Canary build of Edge it seems, based on the color and "can" on the icon. It would also appear that they're keeping the Edge brand.

  2. dougga

    I am looking forward to the marriage of the browser engine with some of the improved rendering and readability that Edge provides today. I feel this is a good move, but agree with others that they need to move fast.

  3. rmac

    It seems trivial to talk about icons yet I feel compelled to say I think that the 'canary' icon looks bloody awful! The Windows XP logo, which was a flag, showed some really nice color development - away from the kid's bricks RGBY. I think Google's logo colours and its software icons are poor - always the same RGBY that look so indistinctive. It was a backwards take on Windows.


    For me, W10's 'flat' icons have been markers of a more evolved and more beautiful UI experience, length and breadth. If you go to MS docs for ASP.NET you'll see a very elementary but effective 'light' look where web icons change colour from black on white to dark blue on white on hover over. Select 'night' and it's white on black with a pale blue/cyan hover over, and I think the Edge logo will always be more subtle in blues.


    To me primary yellow just looks 'too Google' and it will always be non-descript when finally MS have produced something which is really creative on the UI front thro' it's W10 OS.


    Just my 10 cents.

  4. locust infested orchard inc

    Should the new yellow Edge Canary thumbnail icon carry through to the final version, the yellow would certainly be considerably more enticing and prominent as compared to darkish blue of the original Edge.


    I'm no psychologist, but it would appear to me the yellow icon on a black background would subconsciously draw users to click onto it, particularly children, hence already beginning to win the minds of the young over Chrime.


    However, a yellow icon superimposed on a light background would go unnoticed.


    Hmm ?

  5. bennett_cg

    Well that was fast - maybe if they'd been as speedy with functionality enhancements and feature deployments.

  6. IanYates82

    The good thing for me, as an ISV, is that often our customers will only have the default Windows browser. That's still Internet Explorer 11 because we have a lot of customers running things like Remote Desktop Services that, despite being on Windows 2016 (and thus pretty much Windows 10), does *not* get Edge.


    Having this browser as a "Microsoft approved" (tm) browser that can be mandated on our side will help a lot with our dealings regarding IT departments. Big win :)


    (it'll help too that Google's already helped Chrome run with a bit less RAM and play better in remote desktop scenarios - hoping Microsoft push on this even more)

  7. train_wreck

    Let's Build Together.... with Google

  8. BarryWallis

    I wonder if this is one of the reasons for the lengthy 20H1 Skip Ahead ring.

    • Kevin Costa

      In reply to BarryWallis:

      I am thinking the same, because they need to decouple UWP Edge and integrate Chromium Edge into the OS (LTSC and Server versions already decouple it, behaving like Windows 7). Maybe 20H1 will be the first version of Windows 10 that this new browser finally replaces the UWP version for good. MS needs to port every feature and advantage to new Edge (Battery life, scrolling, font rendering improvements, etc), while testing/integrating Chromium advantages in Windows.

    • glassman1234

      In reply to BarryWallis:

      I wouldn't think so... This is supposed to be independent of the OS since it will not only be coming to Win10, but also Win8.1 and Win7.

  9. Winner

    Microsoft releases Edge, closed-source browser, wants everybody to use it and tries like hell to get people to switch. It fails.

    Microsoft then goes open-source with Chromium on Edge, says Mozilla should quit trying to make a browser not based on Chromium...

    Such honest and decent guys there.

  10. remc86007

    What I don't understand about modern browsers is how none of them scroll with touchpads and touchscreens as well as Edge. I hope that functionality carries forward to the new versions.

    • silversee

      In reply to remc86007:

      There are specific technical reasons, but the simple answer is that Edge (EdgeHTML) is available only for Windows 10, and thus Microsoft can optimize for the latest Windows features. Mozilla/Gecko and Google/Chromium must support Windows 7 and 8.1 also (as well as consider other non-Windows platform requirements) and so they build for the least common denominator experience.


      Microsoft has stated that it intends to optimize Chromium for modern Windows features to fix touch support, accessibility and other things that Edge currently does better. The jury's still out on whether Chromium leadership will accept these changes (good), or force Microsoft to fork something only for Edge (bad).

      • skane2600

        In reply to Silversee:

        Assuming what you say is true, it's just another example of how generic solutions are often sub-optimal.

      • jumpingjackflash5


        Yes Edge scrolls great. But I switched to Firefox recently and with some adjustments and tweaks it can scroll similarly as edge.


        For touchpad, paradoxically often works best just to disable smooth scrolling as a whole in standard options - that is often enough (also it is based on touchpad settings).

         

        For mouse wheel there are some settings to try, more can be found on the web (search "Firefox scroll like Edge".

         

        MS Edge smooth scrolling

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.continuousMotionMaxDeltaMS;250

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.enabled;true

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.motionBeginSpringConstant;450

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.regularSpringConstant;450

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.slowdownMinDeltaMS;50

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.slowdownMinDeltaRatio;0.4

        general.smoothScroll.msdPhysics.slowdownSpringConstant;5000

        mousewheel.min_line_scroll_amount;30

        • Rob_Wade

          In reply to jumpingjackflash5:


          I'm sorry, but if you have to tweak anything to get a feature (or to get it to work well) then you have automatically lost the advantage. A feature should work automatically, by default, with only a simple toggle in the main settings to enable/disable it.


          This is one of the many reasons I hate Android. You have to do so much tweaking and customizing to make the system even barely acceptable--especially if you were a Windows phone enthusiast.


          One of the things that frustrates me with what Microsoft is doing is that they are simultaneously advancing their AR/VR capability, but they are practically ignoring touch, and the fact is our interaction with both really relies on similar gesture controls. If using Windows sucks for touch NOW (which it DOES), it will suck as badly in AR/VR.

    • locust infested orchard inc

      In reply to remc86007:


      Quite literally because Edge has the edge over other browsers.

  11. rmlounsbury

    I'm looking forward to the Chromium based Edge. I actually do like the browser and it is available just about everywhere I would need it. The longer Microsoft takes to get this out there the less and less relevant Edge will be to folks outside of those that use the default.


    I just kicked the tires on Firefox again and their mobile app has improved light years ahead of where it was. For the moment Firefox has my browser loyalty.

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