Microsoft moved to Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop

Microsoft moved to Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop

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Microsoft, last year announced its intention to redevelop  Microsoft Edge with Open-Source project. The main goal of this project was to create a better web-compatibility of its users.

A new Dev and Canary channel build of MS-Edge is ready for download on Microsoft Windows 10 PC. Microsoft Edge team has announced this in a blog post.

Today we are shipping the first Dev and Canary channel builds of the next version of Microsoft Edge, based on the Chromium open-source project. We’re excited to be sharing this work at such an early stage in our development process. We invite you to try out the preview today on your devices, and we look forward to working together with the Microsoft Edge Insider community to make browsing the best experience possible for everyone.

There are three builds that Microsoft did talk about in its blog. Canery Channel will be updated every night while Dev channel will get update weekly. There is one more channel that Microsoft didn’t explain much is Beta Channel. The beta channel will get an update on every 6 months and its first release is yet to arrive.

All these releases are only available for Windows 10 PC and support for other platforms like  Windows 7, Windows 8.1, macOS will come later.  There is no information about the release on Linux or other OS.

Every night, we produce a build of Microsoft Edge―if it passes automated testing, we’ll release it to the Canary channel. We use this same channel internally to validate bug fixes and test brand new features. The Canary channel is truly the bleeding edge, so you may discover bugs before we’ve had a chance to discover and fix them. If you’re eager for the latest bits and don’t mind risking a bug or two, this is the channel for you.

The best part is that you can install all these release sides by side and every build has its own icon.

According to Microsoft, they joined the Chromium Open Source in December and till now they have made over 300 commits.

Microsoft is collaborating with Google engineers to enable Chromium to run natively on Windows on ARM devices starting with Chromium 73. 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.

Apart from these Microsoft is working with Chromium engineers to give the best experience with scrolling, touchpad, and keyboard.  

Changes in User Agent String

Technically, Microsoft is adopting Chromium so it has the same User Agent String with a “Edg” token.

Below is the user agent string for the latest Dev Channel build of Microsoft Edge:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3729.48 Safari/537.36 Edg/74.1.96.24

Integrations of Microsoft services

Microsoft has also integrated some of its services with new Edge. Below is the list of integration

  • Bing Search powers search and address bar suggestions by default.
  • Windows Defender SmartScreen delivers best-in-class phishing and malware protection when navigating to sites and downloading content.
  • Microsoft Account service and Azure Active Directory can now be used to sign-in to the browser to help you manage both your personal and work accounts. You can even use multiple identities at the same time in different browser sessions.
  • Microsoft Activity Feed Service synchronizes your data across Microsoft Edge preview builds. We currently synchronize your favorites across your Windows 10 desktop devices running Microsoft Edge preview builds. In future builds, we will also sync passwords, browsing history, and other settings across all supported platforms, including Microsoft Edge on iOS and Android.
  • Microsoft News powers the new tab experience, giving you the choice of an inspirational theme with vivid Bing images, a focused theme that helps you get straight to work, or a more news-focused informational theme.

Microsoft is also inviting Open source community developers to contribute to the Chromium project.