Microsoft’s First Chromium-based Web Browser is Finally Available

On January 15, Microsoft officially launched a highly improved version of their now legacy browser, Edge. Unlike previous updates to Edge, this new version is extra special: It’s Chromium-based.

After the launch of their original Edge browser in 2015, Microsoft began dissecting the user experience and uncovering some significant flaws. It’s no secret in the tech community that Edge has a mixed reputation, and in many ways doesn’t stack up to the web-based collaborative experience that Google has achieved with Chrome. Not only that, but there are a handful of issues impacting the adaptability of Edge, such as the fact that it is only available to users on Windows 10. Despite widespread Windows 10 adoption, there still aren’t enough people opting to use Edge since competitors like Chrome and Firefox were available on Windows 10 as well, leaving Microsoft to have to compete in their own space with a sub-par browser.

So, in the summer of 2017, Microsoft decided to start from scratch and build a new browser using Google’s free and open-source web browser project, Chromium, as its foundation. Nearly three years later, on January 15, Edge Chromium became available for download on Windows 10, and macOS.

In lieu of being all talk and no walk—we’ve rounded up some of the best features that are available for all users on Edge Chromium:

  • Chrome Extensions: As a result of using Chromium as it’s foundation, this new Microsoft Edge has access to the full collection of browser extensions that are available to Google Chrome users, from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Immersive Reading: The browser’s “immersive reader” feature provides a clutter-free experience for reading online, by limiting distracting visual elements like advertisements. Additionally, this feature allows you to customize your reading experience with tools that can read text aloud and more.
  • Refreshed Interface: Compared to the legacy version Edge, the Chromium version’s user interface has been refreshed and modernized. However, the interface still preserves a familiar look and feel of the legacy version to minimize the learning curve.
  • Profiles: One of the best features you’ll find in the new browser is “Profiles,” a feature that allows you to create various profiles or accounts to share the browser with other people without the need to create additional accounts on Windows 10. This means that you can separate business accounts from personal accounts, keep accounts for various family members, and more.
  • Tracking Prevention: Tracking prevention comes enabled by default, and it includes a set of options that allows you to decide how the browser can detect and block harmful online trackers from collecting your activities to improve your privacy.
  • PDF Viewer: The browser’s PDF viewer now includes support for inking, meaning that you can now click the Draw button from the toolbar to write notes and sketch. This feature is ideal for signing PDF documents without the need to install third-party software.
  • Dark Mode: Similar to the legacy version of the browser, the new version includes a dark theme option within the “Appearance” settings.

To download the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge for your Windows 10 or macOS device, click here. For more information on migrating your business devices to one of the browser’s supported operating systems, feel free to contact us.

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