Microsoft hasn’t had a great track record with their browser. Ever since Firefox and Chrome began locking horns, Internet Explorer and Edge lagged behind. Recently, Microsoft tried to catch up with the competition by using the old mantra: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
As of right now, you can download a new version of Microsoft Edge that’s based on Chromium. This will (hopefully!) put Microsoft’s offerings a little closer to its competition.
What Is “Chromium?”
If you’ve never heard of Chromium before, it may remind you of another browser, Google Chrome. Chrome is, in fact, built off of Chromium, hence why their names are so similar.
Chromium is an open-source browser that anyone can download, use, and tinker with. This is why Microsoft could make its own browser off of Chrome’s underlying technology without getting into legal trouble!
As such, Microsoft Edge is now running off the same base engine as Chrome. This is why it’s a big deal that Edge has made this jump: if properly developed and fleshed out, Edge may end up as a contender to Chrome and Firefox.
Is Microsoft Edge Identical to Chrome Now?
Not exactly! Microsoft Edge has some traits that are like Chrome, but it’s still its own browser. For example, in the space where the Google Account sync “should be” is instead a Microsoft account sync feature. You can’t sign in using your Google account, so you’ll need a Microsoft one if you want to get the most out of Edge.
Also, because Edge isn’t the same as Chrome, not all of Chrome’s addons will work in Edge. If you’re a Chrome power user and have a nice collection of addons and extensions installed, you may find using Edge a nasty return to vanilla Chromium.
Is Microsoft Edge Now a Serious Contender?
Unfortunately, it’s too early to tell how Edge compares to Firefox and Chrome. Given how it was only just released, it’s a little unfair to pit it against its competitors which have been around for years. As such, it’ll be better to ask this question in a year or so, when Edge has had the chance to make an impression on the public and developers have created addons for it.
As it stands now, however, its Chromium base is promising. Other companies have put Chromium to good use: Amazon Silk, the Kindle’s web browser, uses Chromium. Avast has also used it to create their secure browser, and Opera made the jump to Chromium in 2013.
As such, if you use Edge right now, it’ll be a little bare-bones; however, its underlying engine will be good enough to give a decent browsing experience.
How Do You Get this New Edge?
If you want to try Edge for yourself, you can do so on its download page. At the time of writing, you can download it for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7. It’s also available for macOS, Android, and iOS.
Living on the Edge
With this new Chromium-based version of Edge, its days in the shadow of other browsers may be over. Hopefully, if people warm well to the browser, it may develop into something more powerful in the future.
Do you think swapping to Chromium means that Edge has a chance of playing in the big leagues? Let us know below!