Microsoft launches new Chromium-based Edge browser for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS
Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser will be coming soon to Windows 10 – or you can download it now
Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is now available to download – and not just for Windows, but macOS, Android and iOS, too.
The new browser is based on the same Chromium open-source code that Google Chrome is based on.
The browser was announced back in December 2018, when Microsoft decided to stop any further work on its own browser engine in favour of migrating to the Chromium codebase. The company stated at the time that the new browser would offer “improved compatibility” over its existing EdgeHTML rendering engine.
New Edge is compatible with Android, iOS, and macOS, as well as Windows 10, 8.1, 8. Even a version for Windows 7 is available, despite the fact that Microsoft formally ceased Extended Support for the operating system earlier this week.
According to Microsoft, new Edge is twice as fast as the previous version of Edge. It comes with all promised features, including 4K streaming support, privacy tools, optimisation for Windows 10, and enterprise-grade security.
It blocks potentially unwanted programmes (PUPs) that may modify the browser search engine or display unwanted ads.
Microsoft’s new browser also offers support for Chrome extensions, which are accessible from either the Chrome Web Store or the Microsoft Store. It can also sync favourites, passwords, and settings across devices.
There’s also an Internet Explorer mode for old websites built to take advantage of the obsolete browser’s peculiarities.
Edge also has some features that are not available in Google Chrome. It comes with built-in tracking protections that enable users to maintain a higher level of privacy by default. Features like ‘Collections’ also let users easily organise pages and images under one collection.
The first stable build of the new browser is named Microsoft Edge 79 (as Microsoft is using Chromium versioning). The next version, Edge 80, is expected to arrive in February, after which Microsoft will offer regular updates every six weeks.
The software giant will start pushing the new browser to Windows 10 users over the coming weeks, although it is available now for anyone to download manually.
Users already having the previous version of Edge installed on their system will see the new one replacing it, while retaining all personalised information.
Microsoft’s new browser has arrived just a day after Google backtracked on third-party tracking cookies and promised to eradicate them in its Chrome web browser.
In a corporate announcement published Tuesday, Justin Schuh, director of Chrome Engineering at Google, said that the company plans “to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome” in next two years.
Google’s change of direction follows-on from moves by Apple’s Safari and Firefox to kill support for third-party tracking cookies by default, introduced in Firefox in a September 2019 update.
Want to escape from Google, but don’t want to jump straight into the arms of Microsoft instead? Check out Computing’s guide to 12 privacy-promoting search engines