Chromium-Powered Edge Browser Now Available for Testing

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"With these contributions, Chromium-based browsers will soon be able to ship native implementations for ARM-based Windows 10 PCs, significantly improving their performance and battery life", the team noted.

As of today, the OS giant's highly-anticipated Chromium-based Edge browser is officially available to download and try out. The builds are only available for Windows 10 at the time. From there, I continued the setup process by choosing from three different home page formats: An "Inspirational" theme with a photo background, a text-heavy "Informational" look, and a simplified "Focused" option. Personally I like Inspirational which offers a clean search experience, while having access to your recently visted sites and the latest Bing wallpaper for the day. The Edge team also contributed towards areas such as accessibility, touch, and ARM64 support to enhance Chromium. But that brings us to the elephant that found its way back in the room: Bing. Because it's built on Chromium, the new Edge browser will run numerous software plug-ins designed for the market-leading Chrome browser. But don't worry Google fans, that will likely change in future versions. One thing to watch as this browser develops is how Microsoft plans to differentiate its browser from Chrome and how to make it more friendly for enterprise users too. Now, Microsoft has made the new browser available from its Edge Insider program, a version of its Windows Insider program specific to the Edge browser. Also, the drop-down preview for tabs is missing on this early build.

While this is still a testing version of the updated browser, it is open to anyone to test.

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Microsoft is also making its Chromium-based Edge browser work well with Microsoft services.

One of the main benefits of moving to Chromium is that the new Edge will support third-party extensions. Microsoft hasn't specifically advertised the feature but you can follow the steps below to download extensions.

Usability-wise, the browser is stable and the fact you're reading this indicates that sites such as The Register's own content management system run without issue. "You'll start to see differences from the current Microsoft Edge including subtle design finishes, support for a broader selection of extensions and the ability to manage your sign-in profile". The transition is going to take around a year, though you can already test drive an early version of Edge in its new form. Thanks for helping us build a better Microsoft Edge.

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