A first look at Microsoft’s new Chromium-powered Edge browser

Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser in Chromium. The software maker has been testing versions of this browser internally at Microsoft, and now The Verge has secured a first exclusive glimpse of the initial work thanks to the source who wishes to remain anonymous. While the previously filtered screenshots made Edge look very similar to Chrome, Microsoft is adding its own touches and animations to make it look and feel like a Windows browser.

The first time you install the Edge version of Chromium, Microsoft will ask you to import favorites, passwords, and browsing history from Chrome or Edge (depending on your default settings). The configuration screen also asks you to choose a style for the default tab page before you start browsing.

Most of the browser's user interface is a mix of Chrome and Edge, and Microsoft has clearly tried to add its little details here and there. There is a read-aloud option, and it simply reads the page aloud as it does in existing versions of Edge. However, some features that I would expect from Edge are missing. Microsoft has not yet implemented a dark mode and the separate tab feature is not available.

Microsoft also has support for extensions, and a page of dedicated extensions for which it has approved. You can also install Chrome extensions from the Google online store, simply by pressing a switch in the extension settings. We've tried a number of extensions like 1Password and Ghostery, and they work the way you expected in Chrome.

Microsoft is offering synchronization support for extensions in the configuration interface for this new version of Edge, but it does not appear to be available immediately. The page states that "more of the features listed above will be available for synchronization in the coming months." You can only sync bookmarks currently, but not settings, history, extensions, open tabs, passwords, and autocomplete information.

a new version of Edge based on Chromium, Microsoft's new browser feels very polished. It is also very fast to launch and navigate with. If Microsoft can continue with this good work and keep Edge optimized in the future, I do not see why I need to use Chrome in Windows. I would have never recommended Edge before, since I was often slow, clumsy and not always working properly with websites. This new Edge feels completely different, thanks to its Chromium backend.

It is not yet clear when Microsoft will release this new version of Edge, but since the most recent internal compilations are stable and work well, it's likely to come in handy. soon. We will keep you informed exactly when Microsoft plans to begin beta testing of its Edge browser with Chromium technology.

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