After a pre-release in April 2019, Microsoft is now officially launching the beta test of the new edge browser, which is switching from its own EdgeHTML to Google Chromium in the rendering engine. This step and the resulting new development of Edge Microsoft had officially announced in December 2018.
The newly released beta version of Chromium-based Edge is available for both Windows 7 and Windows 10 and macOS. The Edge Beta can be downloaded from the Edge Insider website. In addition to the beta path with the most sophisticated edge version, Microsoft continues to provide a Developer branch and a Canary path, which will always offer the latest releases, but which may involve serious bugs. Regular users should choose the beta that Microsoft would like to upgrade to a more stable, mature version about every six weeks.
The beta version of Edge supports 14 languages, Chromium-based extensions, and also includes a Dark theme. Favorites from Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari can be imported into the new Edge browser. Edge's default search engine is Microsoft's Bing. The new collection function, which allows users to collect information such as texts and links across multiple tabs and save and share them, has not yet made it into the beta and so far is only included in the Canary branch.
Fewer rendering engines for more compatibility
With the change of the rendering engine Microsoft wants to achieve better compatibility and higher performance of the browser and simplify the work of the web developers, because most of the website are already optimized on Google's Chromium and no longer need to be adapted to Microsoft's edge. However, only three rendering engines remain, of which two, namely Blink (Chrome, Chrome, Edge, Samsung Internet, Opera, Vivaldi, …) and WebKit (Safari, Epiphany, …), are just Forks from each other. Only gecko (Firefox, SeaMonkey, …) remains as an alternative, but is then much less common.
Final version in late 2019 or early 2020
According to Microsoft, the final version of Chromium-based Edge will be released in late 2019 or early 2020. However, when Microsoft actually replaces the old browser with a new Windows version update for all users, it has not been communicated yet.
Microsoft also announced a bug bounty program for the new version of Microsoft Edge, rewarding up to $ 30,000 for reporting browser vulnerabilities. The program applies to the beta and developer version of Edge.