Even though Microsoft execs have yet to make available to developers outside the company the first test build of its Chromium-based Edge browser, screen shots of it have leaked to the Web. (The updated Edge browser still is being tested internally by Microsoft at this point.)
Neowin.net posted on March 5 a few shots of the coming browser and the new Edge Store for extensions. (One of Neowin's shots is embedded in this post below.) Unsurprisingly, the screen shots look a lot like Chrome, but with Bing instead of the Google search engine, plus a personalized news feed from Microsoft News, built into the browser.
, officials said developers could expect a preview of the Chromium-based Edge browser in "early" 2019.
Microsoft plans to make the new Edge browser -- which is expected to still be called "Edge" -- available on Windows 7, 8.1, 10 and macOS. While Edge will continue to ship with Windows 10, Microsoft finally will be updating it independently of the operating systems on which it runs, meaning it will be updated and patched more frequently than Edge is now.
Microsoft execs have said they plan to contribute features back to the open-source implementation of Chromium in areas where the company has done some differentiating work, such as around browser accessibility, touch optimization, and work around optimizing Chromium for ARM.
Microsoft originally went with EdgeHTML instead of Chromium because they intended to make Edge a Universal Windows Platform app that would work on all Windows 10 form factors, from PCs, to Surface Hub, Xbox, HoloLens and Windows Phones. But now that Windows is less of a priority than Microsoft 365 -- which is a cross-platform play -- making Edge a UWP app isn't a priority or necessity. Better web site/app compatibility and more frequent updates matters more to Microsoft these days.
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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.
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