After nearly a year of development and work, Microsoft is rolling out its new, revamped Edge browser.
While the instinct may be to ignore the news, there’s a lot that’s different with Edge now. Honestly? It’s really good.
First and foremost, the new Edge browser is based on Chromium, the open-source project that forms the foundation of other browsers like Opera and Google’s own Chrome — the most popular browser out there right now. In other words, if you like Chrome, you’ll probably like Edge. There’s no more weird compatibility issues and browsing speeds are incredibly fast. Essentially, it’s just a stripped-down version of Chrome with all the Google bits replaced with Microsoft features.
The browser also focuses more on privacy features than Chrome and includes built-in tracking protection similar in nature to what Mozilla’s Firefox offers.
On top of that, Microsoft has split Edge out from the Windows 10 operating system. In other words, Edge updates aren’t tied to OS updates like before. Microsoft plans to update the new Edge on a six-week rhythm with new features and improvements.
Similar to Chrome, Edge will now have multiple ‘variants,’ including weekly Dev builds and daily ‘Canary’ builds for the more adventurous. Plus, by splitting Edge away from the OS, Microsoft is able to offer it on more platforms. Windows 8 and Windows 7 (pour one out) users can now enjoy Edge, and it’s available on macOS too. There’s a Linux version on the way as well.
Microsoft updated its Edge Android and iOS apps to look more like and work well with the new Edge on desktop. However, Edge on Android was already Chromium-based, while Edge on iOS is just a WebKit wrapper — functionally, it’s just the iOS Safari browser, as with all third-party iOS browsers.
Finally, the new Edge boasts some excellent new features for enterprise, including Azure Active Directory integration, Internet Explorer mode for legacy web apps, and more.
Edge also supports Chrome extensions, 4K Netflix streaming, Dolby audio and more.
Okay, sounds great. How do I get the new Edge?
If all those fancy new features sound enticing to you, it’s pretty simple to get the new Edge.
To start, Microsoft will roll it out in waves as an update that replaces the old Edge. In the process, all your data — such as history, passwords, bookmarks and more — will transfer to the new Edge.
For the impatient among us who don’t like waiting, or for those using an alternate operating system like macOS, it’s easy to download it manually too.
Just head over to Microsoft’s Edge site, click the drop-down arrow on the blue button that says ‘Download’ and select your OS. Then run the installer to install Edge. When you first launch the browser, it takes you through a few steps of setup, including importing data from Edge or Chrome, configuring the new tab page and signing into a Microsoft account to sync your data.
If you want to set up Edge on your smartphone as well, it’s easy to do. Just download Edge for Android from the Play Store, or for iOS from the App Store. When you start it up, it’ll ask you to sign in with a Microsoft account so it can sync your data with Edge on desktop.
Source: Windows Central