Microsoft starts testing its new Chromium-based Edge browser on Arm

Microsoft is continuing to forge ahead with Windows 10 on Arm with a test version of its native Arm Chromium-based Edge browser, plus (possibly) x64 app emulation on the platform.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is starting to test its new Chromium-based Edge browser on Arm as of today, November 13. The company also is working on making the Windows-on-Arm platform more viable by bringing support for X64 apps running in emulation according to a new report.

Microsoft officials announced via Twitter that the new Edge browser, built to run natively on ARM64, has entered the Canary testing ring, and "soon" will come to the Dev and Beta channels. Even though Microsoft began shipping its Arm-based Surface Pro X devices last week, they are not shipping with a native version of the new Chromium Edge browser at this point.

Microsoft officials said last week that Chromium-based Edge will be generally available as of January 15, 2020. But until today, there was no word from the company when the native ARM version of the new browser would be going out to testers.

In other Windows-on-ARM news, Neowin.net reported on November 13 that Microsoft is working to enable X64 app emulation on the platform. Right now, 32-bit (x86) Intel apps can run in emulation on Windows 10 on ARM, but x64 apps cannot run at all. A number of well-known apps like Adobe Photoshop Elements, as well as many games, are only available as x64 apps, which meant unless/until their developers recompile them to run on Windows 10 on Arm natively, they cannot work at all on PCs with Arm processors. 

A year ago, Microsoft officials said emulating x64 in addition to x86 would double the engineering work required and provide questionable performance gains. In addition, the Windows on Windows (WoW) abstraction layer which enables 32-bit x86 apps to run on ARM only supports 32-bit applications, not 64-bit.

Neowin says the x64 app emulation on Windows on Arm may not show up until Windows 10 21H1, however.

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