Do you use Windows 10? If so, Microsoft is about to install a new browser on your PC via Windows Update. The new browser is still called Microsoft Edge, but it’s based on the same code as Google Chrome.
What is the new Edge browser?
The new Microsoft Edge is based on the Chromium open source project. Chrome is the foundation of Google Chrome, so the new Edge looks a lot like Google Chrome. It includes features found in Chrome, supports Chrome browser extensions, and has the same rendering engine as Google Chrome.
If a website was designed for Google Chrome and didn’t work properly in the old Edge, it will now work correctly in the new Edge.
Like Google Chrome, the new version of Microsoft Edge will be updated every six weeks. You won’t have to wait for major versions of Windows 10 released every six months just for browser updates, like you did with the Legacy Edge browser.
When will you get the new benefit?
Microsoft released the stable version of its new Edge browser on January 15, 2020. You can download it from the Microsoft website. After installation, it will replace the old Edge browser with the new version. The original version of Edge is now officially called the “legacy” version of Edge.
Technically, the old Edge will remain installed for compatibility reasons, but Windows will hide it. You can say that you are using the new Edge because it has a new logo. It’s a blue and green swirl rather than a simple blue “e” like the old Edge was.
Microsoft plans to deploy the new Edge to all Windows 10 users through Windows Update. Microsoft has not specified when it will, but the company started testing an Edge update in the Windows 10 Release Preview channel for Windows Insider Testers February 25, 2020.
We expect Microsoft to release Edge to all Windows 10 users via Windows Update to or before the release of Windows 10 2004 Update, expected around April or May 2020.
Can you prevent Microsoft from installing it?
You can prevent Windows Update from installing the new Edge if you want, but we don’t recommend it. Windows Update will simply replace the old Edge browser on your Windows 10 PC with a new, more modern and better one. If you have ignored the old Edge, you are free to ignore the new Edge.
However, Microsoft understands that some companies will want to prevent their PCs from installing the new Edge. Microsoft offers a Chromium Edge Update Blocker Toolbox which will set a “DoNotUpdateToEdgeWithChromium” registry value, ensuring that PCs don’t automatically download and install the new Edge.
Why did Microsoft abandon EdgeHTML for Chrome?
Microsoft ad it would replace the EdgeHTML rendering engine of Edge with the Chromium rendering engine in December 2018. This announcement was shocking at the time. After all, Microsoft had always gone its own way with web browsers. Even EdgeHTML was originally based on the Microsoft Trident rendering engine used by Internet Explorer.
Joe Belfiore, vice president of Microsoft for Windows at the time, explained that the decision was made “to create better web compatibility for our customers and less web fragmentation for all web developers.”
Even if you’re using Google Chrome, Microsoft’s work on the Edge browser will improve Chromium. Microsoft’s efforts will make Chrome a better browser, also.
New Edge vs. Chrome: what’s the difference?
While Edge and Chrome are now pretty similar under the hood, they’re still different. Edge removes Google’s services and, in many cases, replaces them with Microsoft’s. For example, Edge synchronizes data from your browser with your Microsoft account rather than Google.
The new Edge offers some features that Chrome doesn’t offer. For example, Edge has an integrated monitoring prevention function and one potentially unwanted program blocker (PUP). As per the old Edge interface, there is a Favorites button to the right of the address bar in the Edge browser toolbar. Microsoft is also transferring other functionality from the old Edge, including “collections“To capture snippets from web pages and store them in one place.
You may prefer the new Edge if you trust Microsoft more than Google, or if you just want a browser with built-in tracking protection features and the Chrome rendering engine.
Either way, Windows 10 users who stick to the included browser will now have a more modern and capable browser with an open-source rendering engine that is updated more frequently and better supported by Web sites. It’s a victory for everyone.
Does Edge support other operating systems?
Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, macOS, iPhone, iPad and Android. Microsoft will even release a version for Linux In the future. Chrome already supports all of these platforms, which makes porting the new Edge much easier for Microsoft.
The browser war has not stopped
While engineers from Microsoft and Google are clearly cooperating, there is no truce in browser wars. Even though their browsers are similar, Google still wants you to use Chrome and Microsoft wants you to use Edge.
For example, you can install extensions from the Chrome Web Store in the new Edge. But when you do, Microsoft warns you that extensions to the Chrome Web Store “are not verified and may affect browser performance.” Once you accept this, Google will notify you that “recommend switching to Chrome to use extensions safely. “
Even though Edge is based on the same underlying code as Google Chrome, many Google websites still display pop-ups recommending you switch to Chrome. For example, when you visit Google News in Microsoft Edge, you will see a message that Google recommends Chrome, encouraging you to “try a fast and secure browser with built-in updates”.
Microsoft also recommends that Chrome users switch to Edge. For example, Bing encourages Chrome users to download Edge. The Windows 10 Settings app indicates that the new Edge is “recommended for Windows 10” when you also choose your default web browser.
Mozilla is also in the crosshairs. Microsoft is already showing “Suggestion” ads in the Windows 10 Start menu recommend Edge on Firefox. “Are you still using Firefox? Microsoft Edge is there,” reads the ad.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.