If you’re a Windows Insider, chances are you have an email in your inbox this morning from Microsoft. While we seen leaks of the build a week or two ago, Microsoft are officially making available Microsoft Edge Dev, and Microsoft Edge Canary that uses the Chromium engine, rather than their own.
What this means is that you can download a preview build of Edge that is a window to the future where Microsoft hand off responsibility for how websites are rendered, to the open sourced project Chromium. Famously this is what Chrome has used for years, so if you like Chrome, but are a Microsoft user, you may want to try it out.
For now, when you install Edge Dev on Windows 10, you will find it works very similar to Chrome, however there is currently no support for Dark mode which is a little dissapointing.
By signing into your Microsoft account, all your favourites come over, although I found the favicons don’t load in your favourites bar, until you visit a site. This makes sense as the browser cache for Edge dev would be blank to start with.
One of the most significant differences is the settings screen which looks substantially different than both Edge and Chrome. It’s clean and I kind of like how it’s done, particularly the ability to search for a setting.
The home screen offers a few different options, Focused, Inspirational, Informational and Custom, depending on your preference. These offer anything from a clean interface, to one that’s full of Bing-powered news. 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 list of extensions available is fairly substantial, however it is still powered by Microsoft, rather than providing access to Chrome extensions.
Edge dev is now set as my default browser both on the phone and Windows 10. So far it looks like a great build that hasn’t crashed, is actually really fast and supports my favourite feature of a browser, the ability to drag and drop tabs between windows.
Here’s the email from Microsoft.
You might have heard that some changes are coming for Microsoft Edge, and today we’re excited to announce that the first preview builds of the next version of Microsoft Edge based on Chromium are now ready for download on Windows 10 PCs.
We’d like you to be among the first to try out what we’ve been working on. We’re proud of our progress so far, but we still have a lot of work to do. We want to hear your perspective on how to make the product even better.1
Keep in mind, these early builds can be run on any 64-bit version of Windows 10 without impacting your current browsing experience – and the current Microsoft Edge browser will continue to be included in Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds.
We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the new preview builds, and we hope that you’ll continue to give us feedback on the current version of Microsoft Edge. This will help us ensure a quality experience for our current users while we work towards what’s next.
VISIT THE MICROSOFT EDGE INSIDER SITE AND DOWNLOAD NOW >
This is just the beginning. We hope you’ll join us as we work to make the future of Microsoft Edge great. Thanks for helping us build a better Microsoft Edge.
The Microsoft Edge Team