Late last year, Microsoft made the decision to begin developing a Chromium-based version of the Edge browser. 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. An early version of Chromium-Edge leaked a couple of weeks ago. Now, early developer builds are officially available.
The previous leak had to be obtained through file sharing and torrent sites. Now, you don’t need to bother with that, as Microsoft is making its Chromium version of Edge available. There will be two separate branches to download from- ‘Canary’ and ‘Developer’. The Canary build is updated every day, meanwhile the developer build is updated once a week. Soon, a ‘beta’ branch will also open up, which should be more stable.
The current builds for this version of Edge feature full support for Chrome extensions. Microsoft is also working on implementing sync support, so you can carry over favourites, installed extensions and browsing history between devices.
At this point, Google has put a lot of work into the Chromium project but Microsoft has been adding its own improvements to the engine. As The Verge points out, Microsoft has 150 commits accepted in Chromium, paving the way for performance improvements on Windows 10.
The current Canary and Developer builds only support Windows 10 64-bit and the English language option. Eventually, support will be expanded to other versions of Windows 10, in addition to Windows 8, 7 and macOS. You can access the early version of Chromium-Edge on the Edge Insider website.
KitGuru Says: Google Chrome and Firefox continue to dominate the browser landscape but perhaps Microsoft’s switch to Chromium will give Edge a boost. Which browser do you currently use? Could you see yourself switching over to Edge once the Chromium version releases?