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.

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13 replies on “Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser coming Jan 15th (release candidate available now)”

  1. So, Firefox is the last standalone browser! Let’s hope it doesn’t die too.

    1. funny statement, it has multiple interpretations…
      I assume you mean Browser from an independent engine (i.e. no Chromium/Blink) which is still not exactly correct… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_web_browsers
      Both Webkit and Gecko exist and have multiple browsers using it… even Gecko has different browsers using it.

      I do most of my browsing with either Pale Moon or Opera and I have to say that I prefer the first… although at work I use the second for irrelevant reasons.

        1. Pale Moon devs are known to be “agressive”… so is Linus and I still use its creation every day in many devices…
          Right now I don’t see any alternative to Chrome/ium (inc. Edge, Opera, Vivaldi), Firefox (inc, Gecko derivatives and direct uses) for my PC (non-Mac), for mobile we at least have Dolphin using webkit and in Macs Safari.

          Maybe it’s time to have a look at Waterfox or Konqueror…

          1. >Pale Moon devs are known to be “agressive”<

            Not only that. From this interaction they look stupid, too. 🙁

            I'm sorry.

    2. If Mozilla just gives up and uses blink, it would be catastrophic. Google will be free to compel all browsers to implement censorship within the web parsing and rendering process itself, or kill content blocking by premade lists, or demand websites be built for the browser, rather than browsers being built for the websites.
      What’s sad is, you think the only thing we can do about it is “let’s hope”. Plan to do merely that, and it’s guaranteed it’ll fall. There ARE other options for dealing with a chrome monopoly. The hard part is getting enough people committed without subversion.

        1. Ah, crud, I forgot that was still around. Well, okay, if BOTH Gecko and Webkit fall out of hallmarked common enough use, THEN those are problems that we’ll have to contend with. It’d still be good to start looking for plans of action as soon as it looked like it was going to happen to Gecko though.

      1. Google can’t censor things with the browser engine. For instance, ad-censoring feature google has implemented are on top of the rendering engine and can easily not be included in other implementations of Chromium based browsers. Google recently added changes to chrome that will break certain ad-blocking extensions, but this will not effect other browsers using the rendering engines -unless they want it to. It’s only catastrophic if you don’t know much about it

  2. Well it is a fork of Chromium. Any different features are modifications to a separate copy of chromium code base. Also shares the V8 Javascript engine – which is arguably the most important part for developers. Old-school Edge was never fully updated to even the 2015 updates to Javascript.

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