Microsoft began rolling its new Edge browser out to Windows 10 users not long ago, and now it’s coming to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
If you haven’t been following along, over the last year and a bit, Microsoft has rebuilt its Edge web browser on the open-source Chromium platform, which is what Google Chrome and several other browsers operate on. The move marks a significant shift for Microsoft, which previously tried to go its own way with web browsers.
By moving to Chromium, Edge now has all the compatibility that Chrome offers as well as great performance. Honestly, it’s quite good and I’m constantly impressed by how well Edge runs on Windows.
According to an update changelog spotted by 9to5Google, Windows 7 and 8.1 should receive the Chromium-based Edge update through Windows Update. Further, the patch containing the new browser reportedly started rolling out on June 17th, so there’s a good chance you’ve already got it.
Microsoft says the new Edge will be automatically pinned to the taskbar and will add a desktop shortcut. Further, if you’re using the original Edge browser, the shortcuts will change over to the new Edge. Internet Explorer users will not see their shortcuts replaced, however. It’s also worth noting if you use a different default browser, Microsoft will leave that setting alone so you don’t have to worry about Chromium Edge taking over.
Further, the process of getting the update looks a little different depending on which version of Windows you’re on. Windows 8.1 users should get it automatically and won’t have to do anything to make it happen. Windows 7 users, on the other hand, will need to be on Service Pack 1 with the SHA-2 update (KB4474419) and have the servicing stack update (SSU KB4490628) installed. Both of those updates came out in 2019.
It’s surprising that Microsoft is working to bring its new Edge to Windows 7 considering it officially ended support for the platform earlier this year. However, considering many businesses still use it, Microsoft’s push for Edge could be seen as a way to get companies using newer software. One of the new Edge browser’s key features is a built-in Internet Explorer mode for safely using old IE apps. Getting that out to as many businesses as possible could help them switch to Edge, which in turn could make it easier for them to upgrade Windows as a whole.