Microsoft’s New Chromium-based Edge Browser Is Finally Here

Posted on April 8, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft, Windows, Windows 10 with 16 Comments

It’s time.

After many leaks, Microsoft is releasing the first preview builds of its next-gen Microsoft Edge browser. The company today launched the new Microsoft Edge Insider site that gives users access to the first preview builds of the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser.

As part of the preview program, there will be three different channels: Beta, Developer, and Canary. Canary builds are preview builds that are expected to be quite buggy and updated daily, while Developer builds are slightly more stable builds that are updated weekly, and Beta builds are the ones you would want to use on your main machine. Builds from the different channels can be run side-to-side, of course, so you aren’t limited to one channel at a time.

Microsoft is only opening up the Developer and Canary channels today, with Beta builds expected to arrive in the future. The company also plans on releasing builds for macOS and older versions of Windows in the near-future.

As for the first preview builds of the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, it’s very much a polished experience. The browser itself looks very identical to Google Chrome, but with Microsoft’s own flavour on top of the interface. It lets you sign-in with your Microsoft Account and even get a Microsoft News-powered News Tab, for example. Extensions support is also here, with Microsoft offering a limited set of extensions from its own new extension store, as well as letting users install extensions from third-party stores like the Chrome Web Store. That means you will be able to install any Chrome extension on the browser without any problems.

There’s even a dark mode that can be enabled using a flag:

Other Chrome features like support for Progressive Web Apps and the ability to “install” such apps is also here:

And since this is fully based on Chromium, Microsoft is also keeping in the developer tools that come with Chromium instead of swapping it out with its own developer tools. It wouldn’t make sense for Microsoft to use its own developer tools here, so I am glad we are getting the really powerful F12 tools that ship with Chromium:

Microsoft plans to contribute significantly to Chromium going forward, working closely with Google itself. The company says it is currently focused on things like accessibility, touch, and ARM64 support. It also plans to introduce smooth scrolling, a reading view optimized for reading free of distractions, grammar tools, and Microsoft Translator integration.

“We’re working directly with the teams at Google and the broader Chromium community on this work and appreciate the collaborative and open discussions. These contributions represent work-in-progress and are not yet fully represented in the browser you can install today, so stay tuned. We look forward to continued engagement with the community to progress Chromium in these areas and others,” said Joe Belfiore, who leads the team behind Microsoft Edge and other Windows experiences at Redmond.

And that’s really about it for the new Microsoft Edge. There’s a lot of Microsoft-integration still needed here — things like syncing your data between this new browser and Edge on mobile doesn’t work, and Windows Timeline integration isn’t here yet, either. For a first preview, though, this is a really impressive start from Microsoft. I am going to use this new browser as my main browser for the next week or so and report back, so keep an eye out for my experience with the browser after some daily use.

If you want to give the new Microsoft Edge a try, you can download the preview builds here. Microsoft really wants users to provide feedback, so make sure to report any bugs or problems you have with the browser. But more importantly, make sure you download builds from the right release channel — if you are someone who needs a reliable browsing experience, you should only really download the Developer builds. And if you are feeling brave, feel free to try out the Canary builds too.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Microsoft’s New Chromium-based Edge Browser Is Finally Here”

  1. Stooks

    Good by Google Chrome!

  2. jbinaz

    The version that I installed based on the leak a ways back must have either been the beta build or a further along dev build. The leaked version was 75.0.111, and the dev build (that I'm typing from right now) is 74.1.96.24. The canary build is 75.0.121.1. I'm wondering if the75.0.111 build was a canary version. If so, it was pretty dang stable. I did uninstall the leaked build; I figure I'll stick with the dev build.

  3. Passinttd

    It would also be a good thing to point out is that Edge on Mobile and this new Chromium Edge support multiple account profiles as well. You can now have you work data seperated from your personal data / syncs / settings. This is extemely helpful for people that want to do online shopping or research for a home project at work but want to get to that history at home (once syncing is all fixed up of course).

  4. warren

    I already like it more than Chrome. The Settings layout is a LOT more sensible for desktop computers than Chrome's "mobile-first" layout.


    What I'm waiting to see is whether there will be enough here to compel me to switch from Firefox.


  5. Dan1986ist

    Installed it on my 64-bit Windows 10 installs and new Edge signed in with my MSA and synced everything over. So far, so good.

  6. Polycrastinator

    Browsing with it right now. Very early in usage, but it seems really, really quick and so far stable. I'll be interested in how it responds with a touchscreen when I get home from work, because that was always the biggest benefit of using Edge proper, it worked better with a touchscreen than anything else.

  7. William Clark

    very identical to Google Chrome


    Shouldn't that be "very similar" or nearly identical? Can something be "very" identical to something else?

  8. scumdogmillionaire

    Damn, this thing is fast. Loving it so far. But the next test is using it for development which I'll be into later today!

  9. Chris Payne

    Really curious what kind of up-take MS will get on this. After being burned several times being an insider for MS's browsers, I have no desire personally to participate in this one.

  10. RichA

    The "Download" item in the microsoftedgeinsider.com's home-page menu brings you to a page where the three channels (Beta, Dev, and Canary) are explained and where you can download a build from any channel.


    Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page where you can "sign up to be notified when builds are ready for other devices and operating systems." Besides MacOS, you can also choose from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. :-)

  11. madthinus

    You are missing nothing if you decide not to install these.

  12. Lewk

    Has anyone tried it out on touch screens? Is the touch experience as good as Classic Edge?

  13. wright_is

    The site is reporting that an error occured and I should visit their main page.

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