Microsoft is getting closer to making its Chromium-based Edge browser generally available. At its Ignite show on November 4, officials are announcing immediate availability of the near-final Release Candidate of Chromium-based Edge. The final version will be generally available on January 15, 2020. The new Chromium Edge logo which Microsoft plans to use for the coming browser is embedded below in this post.
Today, the Release Candidate of Chromium-based Edge is available for Windows and macOS and can be downloaded here. It is available in more than 90 languages.
The Release Candidate includes the new Collections feature that has been part of the preview builds of Edge, and which is designed to help users more easily amass web content and export that content into Word and Excel. The new enterprise tab page is available as part of the Release Candidate, as well. This page is designed to provide users with quick access to Microsoft 365 files, sites and Intranet search when users sign into Microsoft Search in Bing. (Microsoft Search is the unified search engine that Microsoft has been building into Windows 10, the new Edge, Office 365 and more of its apps.) IE Mode and a number of other enterprise-specific features are in the Release Candidate, as well.
Microsoft's pitch to enterprise customers is that Edge and Bing are the web browser and the search engine for business. At Ignite, Microsoft will detail some new features that it is adding to Microsoft Search in Bing, including the ability to type into the address bar to search for people using natural language queries involving their titles, team names and office locations. The Microsoft Search in Bing offering is also getting floor-plan access for directions, definitions for company acronyms and other more natural query capabilities for internal company information.
Microsoft is also making Microsoft Search in Bing (formerly known as Bing for Business) available on mobile phones, not just desktop PCs.
Microsoft is working to expand the types of company information Microsoft can query with Microsoft Search for Microsoft 365 customers by adding a bunch of new Microsoft Graph connectors. The new Graph connectors preview program announced today adds more than 100 connectors to products and services including Salesforce.com, ServiceNow, Box and more. These connectors will be generally available in the first half of 2020.
Microsoft announced in late 2018 that it was creating a new version of Edge by using Chromium combined with some components currently in Edge, all in the name of providing greater browsing compatibility across the web. Microsoft is using the underlying Chromium Blink rendering technology, but is replacing quite a few Chromium services with Microsoft equivalents.
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.
In the ensuing months, Microsoft made Canary, Developer and Beta test versions of the new Edge available to users on Windows 7, 8.1, 10 and macOS. Microsoft also is working on an ARM 64-enabled version of Chromium Edge and a Linux version is likely, as well.