Microsoft Chrom… Edge hits beta as new browser prepped for biz testing

Where will it be located now that Redmond has increased web browsing bets?

  The Microsoft Chromium-based Edge beta channel is now available

The Microsoft Chromium-based Edge beta channel is now available

Microsoft has launched the first beta version of its Chromium-based Edge web browser.

The pace of development has been rapid: Microsoft noted its intention to rebuild Edge using the Google-sponsored Chromium browser engine in December 2018. In April 2019, preliminary versions were released, including a weekly updated development channel , and a Canarian channel updated daily. In May, a download for Mac was added and in June a preview for Windows 7 and 8.

Now the Edge Beta channel has been launched, described by Microsoft Windows Experiences corporate expert Joe Belfiore as "the third and last preview channel that will go online before launch. " The Beta version will be updated every six weeks until general availability.

When will Edge Chromium generally be available? Microsoft insists that it is not based on the date, but said the team would be satisfied with a stable launch in early 2020.

What is unknown is whether Chromium-based Edge will be more successful than the current Edge, which has only 2.09 per cent global market share according to Statcounter. Google Chrome is at 61.88 percent and Apple Safari accounts 15.09 percent. Firefox is only 4.82 percent, although it is still far ahead of Edge.

1566337110 787 microsoft chrom edge hits beta as new browser prepped for biz testing The current Edge has a market share of just over 2%

Microsoft believes that the new Edge has better possibilities.

A key reason for the small acceptance of the current Edge is incompatibility, which gives users a poor experience. when they encounter sites that do not work or deliver a version of the site designed for legacy browsers. In many cases, it would not be difficult for sites to adapt their code to Edge, but they have few incentives to do so, due to the small user base and the ease of directing them to Chrome.

Basing Edge on Chromium should go A long way to solve the problem. In addition, availability on a wide range of devices and operating systems means that Edge will at least have the potential to gain more market share, although convincing Android users of Chrome or Mac and iOS from Safari will be an uphill battle. .

However, Windows 7, which still represents a large portion of users, especially in business, is a different case, especially when combined with IE mode, which can open a site in Internet Explorer on an Edge tab .

Edge-based Chromium will allow companies to choose to use Edge on all versions of Windows for the first time, while retaining support for legacy applications that require IE or the Silverlight plug-in. Microsoft argues that IE Mode is better for users than having them use two browsers, and they may forget to change at the right times.

Microsoft is well positioned to make Edge the browser that best integrates with Windows, not only with IE Mode, but also with features such as Application Guard, which allows you to navigate in an isolated Hyper-V container for better security in unreliable sites.

Next, Microsoft aims to differentiate its browser into a couple of areas. Microsoft is not innocent when it comes to obtaining unnecessary data, but unlike Google, its business model does not depend on advertising. Tracking protection is integrated and can be set to Strict, explained as "Block most third-party crawlers, some sites may break." However, this is a difficult problem and cannot be solved only with browser settings.

microsoft chrom edge hits beta as new browser prepped for biz testing Chromium Edge privacy options

Third, the company is promoting productivity features in Edge, such as Collections, now publicly available for the first time if the Canario channel is installed. Collections is an extension that allows you to add web pages to a group that appears in a side panel and then export the data to Word or Excel.

  Collections, a productivity feature in the new Edge

Collections, a productivity feature in the new Edge

Why is Microsoft bothering with Edge? That's a good question. The official answer here is "to serve Microsoft customers well and … provide mutual benefit to the larger web community while maintaining the benefits of the competitive diversity market in the browser ecosystem." I could translate this as not wanting to give up browser control completely to Google, although it can be argued that using Chromium is already a step in that direction.

This competitive element makes Microsoft's relationship with Google interesting. Belfiore said in today's announcement that "we have contributed more than 1,000 commitments to the Chromium project" and insists that it has a healthy collaboration with Google engineers. Google is likely to find ways to give Chrome users the best experience using Google services. ®

Balancing consumerization and corporate control

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