Microsoft Asks Windows Insiders to Test Chromium-Based Edge

Judy Cobb
April 9, 2019

Microsoft launched the first preview builds of the Chromium-powered Edge browser today for Windows 10. If you want to see the latest features Microsoft is adding to the Edge Insider build, then the Canary channel is the one for you.

The 27-slide Power Point identifies Identity and Single Sign-On (SSO), PlayerReady DRM, and Services integration as early changes, alongside more subtle additions such as smoother scrolling protocols in BlinkGen Property Tree (BGPT) Memory Reduction in DLL prefetching and Native Caret browsing among others. The Canary build is a raw version that will be updated daily while the Developer build is more stable and will receive weekly updated.

When testing Edge Insider builds versions that were previously leaked, the browser performed very well and these versions are no different.

Last December, Microsoft announced plans to dump Edge's HTML and JavaScript guts in favor of Chromium, shortly after anonymous reports surfaced. Although the new browser will run perfectly on Windows 7, the preview builds are now only available for Windows 10.

"In these first builds we are very much focused on the fundamentals and have not yet included a wide range of feature and language support that will come later", said Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows, in a blog post Monday. The company says that macOS builds are coming soon. With its release, Microsoft is offering both a developer build based on Chromium 74 and a Canary build based on Chromium 75. Via the Edge browser, you can visit Google's Chrome Web Store and immediately begin installing them. This represents the "bleeding edge" of Microsoft's development efforts, and as a result, you'll probably run into some bugs as you test things out.

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Beta builds as well as support for Mac and other versions of Windows are expected at a later date.

The new Edge also comes with a redesigned settings interface. For instance, the browser can only sync your favorite websites between devices. The test builds also doesn't fully support media casting yet.

A little while ago we reported that Microsoft is working on a new Add-ons page separate from the Microsoft Store for Edge users to download the extensions. The main goal here will be to boost appeal for web developers and generate better compatibility with popular extensions available on other browsers, like Google Chrome.

Change the download directory here edge://settings/downloads and configure Edge to ask where to save files before downloading for extra security.

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