Microsoft gives IT pros the signal to start testing Chromium-based Edge

Microsoft has yet to release the promised 'beta' channel for its Chromium-based Edge browser, but it's now telling IT pros the Dev channel is ready for them to start testing it.

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Credit: ZDNet

Microsoft is ready for IT pros to start testing its new Edge browser based on Chromium. On July 11, officials said that the Microsoft Edge Dev Channel is officially ready for enterprises to start trialing and piloting.

Before today, Microsoft officials said Chromium-based Edge should be tested by enthusiasts and developers, as it was still in the very early stages of development. In recent months, Microsoft has made available both Canary (updated daily) and Dev (updated weekly) channel versions of its Chromium-based Edge for a variety of platforms, including Windows 10, Windows 7, 8/8.1 and Mac. 

But when Microsoft began officially testing the new Edge in April this year, starting with Windows 10, officials said they expected to add more features and functionality of interest to the IT pro audience to Chromium-based Edge test builds and introduce a "Beta" channel in the summer.

Microsoft has promised it will add a number of enterprise-specific features to Chromium-based Edge, such as IE Mode, group policy and mobile-device-management support, offline deployment packages, Application Guard and PDF support. So far, few of those features have materialized, though IE Mode hit the Dev channel this week. IE Mode is meant to provide backward compatibility with Internet Explorer for those that need it. IE Mode opens a webpage in an Internet Explorer tab inside the Chromium-based Edge browser.

As of today, July 11, Microsoft still has not released its promised "Beta" channel -- where the browser preview will be updated every six weeks -- for Chromium-based Edge outside of the Edge Insider program. No word on when that will happen. We also don't know when Chromium-based Edge will be designated as ready for the mainstream. Next week is Microsoft's Inspire partner show and its Ready internal sales conference. So maybe we'll hear more then (?)

For those interested in kicking the "Chredge" tires, preview builds of Chromium-based Edge are available for download from Microsoft's Edge Insider site.

In December 2018, Microsoft officials said they were redoing Edge so that it would be built on top of Chromium in the name of improving compatibility across the web. Chromium is an open-source browser implementation that is used as a base by a number of browser developers, including Google (with its proprietary Chrome browser), Vivaldi, Opera, Yandex, Brave, and more