Chromium is Google’s open-source web browser project. It is the source code for Chrome and many other browsers like Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, and Touch.
Microsoft Edge has been around for years but hasn’t been able to gain significant market share. So finally, Microsoft has resorted to drastic measures and has joined the chromium bandwagon to refresh the Edge browser experience and make it for existing Chrome users to transition to its platform.
Fun fact: Microsoft Edge for Android already runs on Chromium.
Ever since the announcement, we had been waiting to get out cursors on the brand-new Edge. And yesterday, we got our insider preview built from Microsoft. So, long story short, here we are with everything you need to know about the Chromium-based Microsft Edge browser and why it could entice you to shift from Google Chrome.
Benefits of Edge on Chromium
First and foremost, being the native browser of Windows 10, it has better integration and support. Now as it becomes the hybrid of two worlds, its list of features has increased.
- This new Edge would be available for download on multiple platforms just like Chome. So, moving forward, if Microsoft replaces the current Edge with this one, it won’t be just another built-in bloat you can’t uninstall. Moreover, it might not be distributed via the Microsft Store since it’s based on Win32, not the company’s UWP platform.
- You could download and install extensions from both Microsft store as well as Chrome Webstore. You just have to provide consent to allow Edge to install extensions from third-party stores and yeah, Chrome Webstore in this instance.
- You could spruce the looks of the browser with a galore of themes available within Chrome Webstore. You just have to provide consent to allow Edge to install themes from third-party stores like Chrome Webstore.
- If you are already a Chrome user, the transition would be seamless. You could access your Chrome bookmarks, history, etc. by signing in to that specific Google account. (Current canary build has a catch! i.e, you could only sync with your Microsoft account at the moment.)
- Google suite of apps and services such as Drive, Youtube, Gmail, Docs, etc. should function the same as in Chrome. Chromium has better compatibility with web standards too.
- Edge (Chromium-based) performed overall better and faster in our benchmark tests. You may find the test results here.
- Edge would be bringing features like pinch to zoom, reduced power consumption, PDF enhancements, battery life improvements, smooth scrolling, editing, layout, dev tools, and web authentication too.
- Apparently, Microsoft is aiming to bring ARM support to this reimagined browser in future.
Earlier, Microsoft had claimed that their previous builds of non-Chromium blocked 18 percent more phishing sites than Google Chrome.
Chromium services and features still missing on Edge
Still, you would find certain features and services missing in the new Edge. Microsft hasn’t brought-in following services From Chrome to the new Edge:
Some of the issues and known bugs in the canary build are:
- Sync is limited to Microsoft accounts. So, you won’t be able to sign in and sync using school and work accounts.
- Even if you sync, only the bookmarks or favorites are transferred. Rest of the items like history, password, and form-fill data would synchronize later.
- You cannot sync between tthe chromium version of Edge and the current in-market version of Edge.
- Media casting isn’t working, but this should be fixed with subsequent updates.
- The built-in spellchecker that checks and corrects (or underlines the misspelled words) the spelling is also not working.
- Since it’s out for developers and in the very early stage, more bugs and issues could surface. So, Microsoft welcomes your feedback on the same to make it ready for stable public release.
How to download Microsoft Edge Chromium?
Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is now officially available for download in dev and canary builds via their insider preview page.
Though the current build is released for Windows 10 and the company would be launching the builds for earlier Windows versions and Mac soon. While we tried the same on an Old PC running Windows 7, it did work, albeit with some sign-in errors. Still, it’s worth a try for all enthusiast and developers out there.