Microsoft releases first test builds of Chromium-based Edge for Windows 10

Microsoft officially is releasing the first Developer and Canary test builds of its Chromium-based Edge browser for 64-bit Windows 10 only. Here's where to get it and who should (and shouldn't) download it.

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Microsoft is making available test versions of the first of its Chromium-based Edge browser builds. On April 8, Microsoft officially released the first Canary (updated daily) and Developer (updated weekly) Edge builds for 64-bit Windows 10. They are available for download from the Microsoft Edge Insider site by any interested parties. Beta-quality builds and promised builds for Windows 7, 8.1, and the Mac will come later, officials said.

Also: Hands on with Microsoft's new browser 

The new Edge builds released today are early and focused on fundamentals, so all the intended features, language support, and UI changes are not there yet. Today's builds have not been optimized for promised capabilities like smooth scrolling, inking on the Web, PDF support and tab sweep are not yet enabled. Right now, Chromium-based Edge feels a lot like Chrome, except with built-in MSN news feeds.

Today's test builds are meant for web developers, early adopters and "enthusiasts," not everyday users. Sometime this summer, Microsoft is 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 at that time.

Anyone downloading today's test build who may have installed any builds of Chromium-based Edge that leaked recently are advised to first uninstall the leaked builds before trying the ones released today. Even though the leaked Chromium-based Edge build worked fine on Windows 7 (ask me how I know), Microsoft is not releasing officially its Chromium-based Edge for Windows 7 yet.

Anyone using the current Microsoft Edge (based on EdgeHTML, not Chromium) can just continue using the existing Edge browser for the foreseeable future; Microsoft has not said when the company plans to switch users off the current Edge browser. And users of Edge on iOS and Android won't be affected, as those Edge browser apps already use the WebKit and Blink rendering engines tied to those OS platforms, not EdgeHTML.

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. Simultaneous with the launch of Chrome in 2008, Google released the bulk of Chrome's code as open source, birthing Chromium in the process.