Microsoft Edge Reddit AMA: Edge might come to Linux

No "technical blockers" to prevent Microsoft from shipping Edge for Linux.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
Microsoft Edge
Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft Edge developer team has held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit today, and the company's engineers have revealed some of their plans on various current or upcoming features.

The biggest tease the company dropped was its apparent willingness to release an Edge version for Linux -- a move that was once considered inconceivable.

"We don't have any technical blockers to keep us from creating Linux binaries, and it's definitely something we'd like to do down the road," the Edge team said.

"That being said, there is still work to make them 'customer ready' (installer, updaters, user sync, bug fixes, etc.) and something we are proud to give to you, so we aren't quite ready to commit to the work just yet.

"Right now, we are super focused on bringing stable versions of Edge first to other versions of Windows (as well as macOS), and then releasing our Beta channels," Edge devs said.

While the Chromium codebase on which the upcoming Edge version supports Linux builds, users were afraid that when Microsoft ripped out various Chromium features last year, it might have impacted Edge's ability to support cross-platform builds.

However, today's comment comes to confirm a tweet published in April on the personal Twitter account of one of Edge's developers.

At the time, the developer couldn't officially confirm officials plans for a Linux build. Microsoft didn't commit to a Linux build today either, but now we at least know there's no technical block that may prevent it from shipping an Edge for Linux version.

Right now, as the Edge team made it pretty obvious, it's only a matter of taking baby steps. Devs would most likely want to have a stable release out for all Windows versions first, before committing to additional platforms.

No word on the ad blocker plans

In addition, the Edge team also answered a question on one of today's most important topics in technology -- Chrome's upcoming extensions API changes that may end up crippling ad blockers.

Last week, representatives from Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi told ZDNet they didn't have any plans to cripple ad blockers in their products, despite the shared Chromium codebase.

At the time, Microsoft did not reply to an official request for comment on the matter regarding this issue that ZDNet sent the company.

In today's AMA, the browser maker remained as non-commital as last week, delaying an official answer, pending more talks with "popular extension developers and with the Chromium community."

The good news is that yesterday, Google gave in to some of the demands put forward by extension devs and ad blockers, so in the end, Microsoft may not even have to answer these questions anymore.

Tracking Protection coming to Edge

But there's more. According to Edge developers, the company is also planning on rolling out a Tracking Protection feature similar to the one that Firefox rolled out.

"We are committed to building features that give users control and transparency over their privacy on the web," Edge devs said. "One of our first features is Tracking Prevention with 3 levels of control to choose from, with Balanced setting being the default."

For now these are all the details available about this feature. Other notable answers on other topics are below:

- Microsoft is incorporating Fluent UI components into Edge to evolve the browser's look and feel.
- The main goal is "to ship a browser at such high quality that it could eventually become the default browser for all Microsoft devices."
- Devs plan to port the reading list feature from the old Edge to the new Chromium-based Edge.
- Settings and other pages will also respect the browser's dark theme.
- An extensions syncing feature is coming soon.

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