Check Out Microsoft’s Edge Browser Rebuilt With Google Chromium

Microsoft Edge is often regarded as the black sheep of web browsers. Although it has been praised for its speed and battery life benefits over some competitors, many have lamented its lack of features and compatibility. These complaints may soon be resolved, however. This past December, Microsoft announced that Edge would be rebuilt using Google Chromium. The latest preview of the new Chromium-based Edge features extensions, dark mode, and a handful of performance improvements.

Brad Sams of Thurrott was able to get his hands on the new Edge browser. He remarked that the browser “feels a lot like Chrome with Microsoft polish on top of it.” The web browser is not quite ready to be introduced to the general public, but it seems to have a lot to offer already at this early stage of development.

microsoft edge tabs

It appears that the new Edge is much more customizable than its predecessor. Users will be able to choose the format of their home page -- Focused, Inspirational, Informational, or Custom. They will also be able to import their settings from other browsers and download extensions from the Microsoft or Chrome stores. Web pages can now be transformed into apps and installed on one’s desktop as well. As mentioned, users can also enable dark mode in their browser, if they prefer it over the traditional mode.

Edge users will be pleased to see that the new browser runs just as quickly and smoothly as its predecessor. The browser also appears to use less memory than Chrome. Some of the extensions are bit wonky at this point, but keep in mind, the new Edge is still a work in progress.

microsoft edge chromium apps

Microsoft’s announcement that Edge would move to Chromium was a bit of a surprise. The current Edge browser already uses open-source components such as Angle, Web Audio, and Brotli, but few expected that Microsoft would completely abandon EdgeHTML. Microsoft hopes that the new Edge will provide greater compatibility for customers and less fragmentation for developers. They have also vowed to continuously update Edge on all supported versions of Windows, once it is released.

It is currently unclear when the new Edge will be available, but Microsoft has hinted that they may release the browser at the end of 2019. Until then, the current iteration of Edge will continue to be updated. Those who are interested in testing out the new Edge can sign-up for Microsoft’s Edge Insider Program here.