Microsoft has finally launched its hotly anticipated new Edge Chromium browser to both Windows and macOS users. This new browser is available for all users to download, less than a year after Microsoft revealed its plans to make the switch to Chromium. At this stage, Microsoft is only looking to target this browser at its main enterprise users of Windows & MacOS, however it will be soon available for standard customers too in the form of a download.
Over the course of the next few months, Microsoft will be looking to automatically update Windows 10 users to this new Edge browser which will completely replace the older version. At this point, Microsoft is taking a very softly, softly approach, slowly implementing Edge to clusters of Windows 10 users via a Windows Update before it ramps up the roll out to all users during the Summer.
In light of Edge Chromium being readily available today, it is being launched without some features that you are accustomed to using in Chrome. You will find that both history sync and extension sync are not present, however you will see that the usual features such as favourites, settings, addresses and passwords will all sync. Microsoft plans to fill the gap on these syncing features later in 2020. You will find that Edge has a similar look and feel to Chrome including full compatibility for Chrome extensions. Edge produces in terms of new features such as Collections which makes it easier to collate images and content from the web and tracking prevention.
With all the questions raised above, what is the argument for making the switch to Microsoft’s Edge Chromium browser?
Microsoft is encouraging enterprise users to make the move to give them access to features such as the Internet Explorer mode which allows businesses to load legacy IE sites within Edge automatically. This is in addition to the anti-tracking features, Collections as well as the support for 4k Netflix with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision which will help to make it stand it out over Chrome.
Furthermore, there is also the aspect of trust and which browser company that you trust with your data. Google is going to be removing third-party cookies and trackers in Chrome, however this won’t be happening for at least 2 years. This presents a significant opportunity for Edge to be able to capitalise on those web users looking for more privacy and greater control of their data. This may not be enough of a reason for users to make the switch to Edge, but does give Microsoft more of an opportunity to use its Windows dominance in the enterprise market to push the compatibility of Edge.
Compatibility is such an important element of why Microsoft decided to move to Chromium in the first instance. At the point of delivery, Chromium gives instant web compatibility and makes it much easier for Microsoft to bring its web browser elsewhere. Therefore it does seem a bit strange that Microsoft also announced that it will be releasing Edge for Windows 7 users as well given it has recently stopped support for Windows 7. However, it is important to note that Microsoft hasn’t revealed how long this will be for, but Google has revealed that it will be doing this until at least mid-2021.
One of the keys to the future success of Edge Chromium will be around whether its fully embraced by web developers and competitors like Google. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the course of the next few months.
If you are looking to move your business to Edge Chromium browsers then please do get in touch with our team of IT experts who will be able to provide you with the necessary tailored IT support that you need to successfully make the move.
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