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Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge Browser Now Available in Beta

Just in April, Microsoft was introducing the first flighting programs for their chromium-based Edge browser, with daily (Canary) and weekly (Developer) builds being made available to users. Fast forward four months, and the company is now making it available in beta form - the last step between general availability and an official, "finished" release.

Microsoft decided to stop developing their in-house browser engine, instead taking from and building upon the open-source Chromium project, from where Google chrome takes most of its components. The decision was meant to allow Microsoft to become a more powerful player in the development of Chromium and the internet browsing experience as a whole, facilitating developers' work. The Beta of Edge supports 14 languages and some quality of life features, such as the ability to decide whether their new tab page is laid-out in a Focused, Inspirational or Informational mode. Some other supported features include Microsoft Search (integrated with Bing), Internet Explorer mode and Windows Defender Application Guard. There's also a tracking prevention browsing mode, which prevents tracking from websites that you haven't really visited. This features includes three levels of privacy - Basic, Balanced and Strict. Will this be enough to make you jump towards the Edge?

Microsoft Launches Chromium-based Edge Browser

Microsoft has released the first public version of their Chromium-based rendition of Edge. Remember that Microsoft announced back in December of last year that they would be ceasing development efforts on their own browser back-end, and would instead be adopting the Chromium open-source coding - which powers the ubiquitous, 65% market share-earning Google Chrome. The plan is to streamline development efforts, reduce web development fragmentation, and contribute to a more open internet by building and contributing towards the Chromium project.

Now, users can take a look at the Chromium-powered version of Edge (yes, it did keep the Edge branding). The Chromium-based Edge release is nowhere near completion - MIcrosoft is instead using flighting programs, like it is doing with most of its products now, to aid in the development of features and bug correction - having a global Q&A is much better than having a dedicated team in-house, after all. This is being done via Canary and Developer builds of the Edge browser, where Canary are available daily, and follow the development flow of the browser at is being developed, or via weekly Developer builds, which should bring more impactful performance and feature upgrades - along with some added stability.

Microsoft's Edge Browser Confirmed Dead; Long Live Microsoft Edge

So, it goes like this: Microsoft has confirmed they will be killing of their own-developed Edge browser in favor of a Chromium-based alternative. However... The new browser will retain Microsoft's Edge nomenclature, instead of parting ways with the (likely damaged) branding. Microsoft is committing to the open-based Chromium backbone, and will be building upon its database to contribute towards a more open Internet.

The idea is to deliver more frequent updates - and of course, reducing the engineering and coding efforts to keep an in-house browser up to date and secure from all manner of Internet threats. And this will likely be achieved; whether Microsoft's efforts will bring it a higher market share than the current 4%, though, is anyone's guess. It seems to be a usual Microsoft dilemma in that the first search on its browsers is for another web browser... And it might remain especially so without a branding change. Living in Chrome just sounds better than living on Edge.
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