Today is the day, everyone: you can now install the official build of its new Chromium-based version of Edge on Windows, Android, Mac and iOS (and we assume, iPadOS)
This marks a big turning point for the web in so many ways. While Chrome has mercifully eaten Microsoft’s browser market share, with Microsoft abandoning its own engine, content can finally be optimised to run across more browsers and users will get the same consistent experience, as the developers intended … in the future, anyway.
While it’s got great potential for users and developers, it also means there’s less competition in the market from an engine perspective – Chromium engine gains even more market share, leaving us wondering if developers might stop supporting others like Firefox.
One of Microsoft’s big pushes is on the security front -:Edge features three levels of tracking protection (Basic, Balanced and Strict – Balanced is the default) designed to make your browsing a little more private. In Strict mode it’ll block third-party cookies, a feature Google itself only just announced for a future version of Chrome.
Edge also features support for extensions – both Chrome’s own, and Edge-specific ones. There’s also an Internet Explorer mode for some reason, and a lot of other Microsoft-y things like Active Directory support you’d expect from an app that might go into corporate environments.
If you’re a Windows user and don’t download it on your own, it will eventually replace your Edge browser via a future Windows update. If you’re a Mac user, Edge is now available for your computer for the first time and it’s definitely worth a look.