Microsoft has announced that the new version of its Edge web browser will be available on or around January 15th. But folks who want to try it out a little early can download the latest beta… which is also a release candidate.
The key difference between the new Edge browser and the version that’s been included in Windows 10 for the past four years is that the new browser is based on Google’s open source Chromium project and uses the Blink rendering engine.
That means the new Edge should be able to handle any web page or web content that works in Chrome, and the basic design of the browser is similar in a lot of ways to Google’s (and any other browser based on Chromium). Most Chrome extensions should also work with the new Edge.
But just because the browser is based on Chromium doesn’t mean it’s a clone of Google’s browser.
Among other things, it has custom graphics, a “Read Aloud” text-to-speech feature, a feature that lets you annotate websites with hand-written notes, custom security and privacy features (including tracking prevention), and a Collections feature that lets you save a set of web content and export it to Word or Excel.
Oh, and Microsoft has also just introduced a new logo for the new Edge. It’s still sort of shaped like an E. But now it looks all… wavy or something.