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Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser is actually really good

Expect Microsoft to add more features in future updates.

Published onApril 9, 2019

Logo of the Developer build of Microsoft Edge.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced on its blog that the first Canary and Developer builds of its new Chromium-based Edge browser are now available. The Canary and Developer builds get updated daily and weekly, respectively.

What’s impressive is how well these early builds are running so far. I haven’t encountered many issues with the Developer build, though we’ll keep an eye out for bugs as we keep using it.

Also impressive is how well Chromium-based Edge’s current features work. Without doing anything, all of my bookmarks and favorites from Chrome loaded up just fine. The new Edge browser even supports existing Chrome extensions, though the Google Keep extension gives me an error when I try to sign into my Google account. Your mileage may vary.

Keep in mind that this is a work in progress. Microsoft is working on Fluent Design tweaks for this version of Edge, with features like setting aside tabs and inking possibly appearing in future updates.

Also, Microsoft either removed or replaced 53 of Google’s services that come with Chromium. Removed features include ad blocking, Google Cloud Storage, Google Pay, Cloud Print, and more.

The good news is that the Chromium-based Edge browser seems to be something that Microsoft won’t abandon. Microsoft has had around 150 commits accepted into Chromium and is working with Google to improve Chromium. That way, the two companies can make it so that Chrome and Edge run better on Windows.

You can download the Chromium-based Edge browser at the link below. Expect to encounter at least a few bugs with the available builds. Also note that Microsoft is developing versions that will work on Windows 8, Windows 7, and macOS.

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