Microsoft to start testing its new Edge browser on Linux in October

The wait is over: Microsoft's 'Chredge' browser will be available to Insider testers in preview starting in October.

Microsoft Ignite 2020: Mary Jo Foley on Project Cortex, Azure resiliency, Teams, and Edge on Linux

Since at least June 2019 (if not before), Microsoft officials have been teasing that the company might bring its new Chromium-based Edge browser to Linux. Today, Sept. 22, the hints and veiled promises are over. In October, Microsoft is releasing in preview to Edge Insider testers the new Edge for Linux. 

Officials announced the planned Chromium-based Edge (aka Chredge) on Linux release date on Sept. 22, the opening day of its virtual Ignite 2020 IT Pro conference. Officials said once it's available, Linux users can go to the Microsoft Edge Insiders site to download the preview channel or they can download it from the native Linux package manager. 

Microsoft already supports the new Edge browser on Windows 7, 8.1, and Windows 10, as well as on macOS. Microsoft will be including the new Edge browser as part of its Windows 10 20H2 feature update when that update starts rolling out sometime in October. (It also rebranded its browsers on iOS and Android so they share the same logo as Chredge.)

As it did when introducing the new Edge on macOS, Microsoft is positioning Edge on Linux as more of an offering for IT pros and developers who want to test web sites than as a browser for "normal" users on those platforms. However, any user on any supported platform can use the new Edge. 

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Credit: Microsoft

In other Edge-related news, officials said this week at Ignite that "soon" IT admins will be able to roll back Microsoft Edge to a previous version in case deploying a new version inadvertently breaks something. This feature, which works in Edge version 86 or later, is meant to be a safety net for enterprises deploying the new Edge. More information on how it works is in Microsoft's Edge documentation.

Microsoft also plans to introduce kiosk mode for the new Edge "soon." This capability was part of the old/legacy version of Edge, and it creates a locked-down browsing experience for kiosks and digital signage.

And in other Linux-related news at Ignite, Microsoft officials highlighted a few new features coming to the Windows Subsystem for Linux v.2, which is part of Windows 10 2004 and more recent. Available "within a few weeks after Ignite 2020," Microsoft will introduce a preview of support for Linux GUI apps in WSL on Insider builds. And WSL can be fully installed simply by running "wsl--install" -- making it easier for users to add WSL support to any machine.