In the almost eternal battle of the Web Browsers, Internet Explorer has been used for more or less one thing. That was to download another web browser (usually Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox). Even with Microsoft seemingly revamping their web browser and releasing it as Microsoft Edge doesn’t seem to have gained any popularity for the browser. Hoping to try one last time, Microsoft recently launched the first beta builds of Microsoft Edge, powered by Google Chromium.
We’ve seen Google Chromium in the Brave Browser and a number of other browsers as well. According to Microsoft, the new beta channel for Microsoft Chromium Edge would be updated every 6 weeks or so. In comparison, the Dev and Canary channels would be updated every week or every day, respectively.
Why is Microsoft using Google Chromium?
Microsoft’s goal with the new Edge Chromium browser is to provide a more productive, secure browser. At the same time, they’re also low key trying to make it faster than the competition. “We’re ready to take on a larger audience, said Joe Belfiore – Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Windows Experience. In addition, Belfiore also shared that “Our approach for the new Microsoft Edge browser represents a belief that your data is yours, that you are entitled to understand how it’s used”. Ironic seeing at Microsoft Outlook, the company’s email client was hacked a few months ago.
Nonetheless, the new Microsoft Edge browser packs some of the better features seen in Safari, Firefox and Brave. These features are used when it comes to protecting you from websites and advertisers looking to track your online behavior. In addition, Microsoft also launched a security bounty program for Microsoft Edge. Here, anyone who finds and highlights any significant vulnerabilities in the Beta and Dev channel releases is eligible for rewards of up to $15,000.
What does this mean for Microsoft?
For starters, it means that there’s now one less search engine on the internet. In case you missed it, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge both used Microsoft Bing as their default search engines. With Edge switching over to the Chromium engine, the default search engine also would automatically become Google.
On the other hand, the new Microsoft Edge won’t be another clone of Google Chrome. Rather, Microsoft is hoping to stand out of the crowd with features such as improvements to the UI, and blocking online tracking. They’re also looking at boosting performance with smooth scrolling responsiveness and also better battery usage on laptops etc.
For now, the beta version of Edge doesn’t really have anything that sets it apart from the rest. That’s because the team at Microsoft have brought Edge to Beta status and made sure that all of the core functions are in place. As the beta goes through updates, additional features will be added to differentiate itself from Google Chrome.
What’s new in this version of Microsoft Edge?
Speaking of features, one feature that made its way to the beta channel of the revamped version of Microsoft Edge is Collections. Designed for web users, Collections allows you to collect text, images and details from the internet into one single note. The Canary build packs a useful feature that is a global media control button. The button essentially gives you control over YouTube, Spotify and other video and music services without the need to switch tabs.
With no exact release date for a stable version set, it looks like Microsoft Edge would be stable in late 2019 or early 2020. There’s still work to be done to make sure that the browser lives up to Microsoft’s expectations. Even then, getting users to come back to Microsoft Edge is going to be tricky.
In addition, Microsoft would also have to replace the existing Microsoft Edge Browser with the new one as well. There’s still no confirmed method of how Microsoft would do this so we’ll just have to wait and see. You can check out the Beta, Dev and Canary channel by clicking here
Are you looking forward to using the new Microsoft Edge? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.