Microsoft is stepping up a gear in rolling out the Chromium-based Edge browser. If it is better than its predecessor, installing it via Windows 10 updates will no longer allow you to go back.
In line with its replacement strategy decided earlier this year, Microsoft has started rolling out its “new” Edge browser to all PCs running Windows 10. Since January, a few PCs have started receiving the update to the new edge. This is particularly the case for PCs running Windows 10 April 2018 Update, also known as version number 1803. Today, the recent Edge is available for Windows 10 versions later than this version 1803 , including Windows 10 May 2020 Update, version number 2004.
Note that the latest Edge is officially called “Microsoft Edge”, and the old one is now called “legacy” Edge. The updated browser is Chromium-based and performed well in our peers’ test, although it fell behind in some areas, such as backing up user history to the cloud.
No turning back possible
According to the Techdows technology blog, Microsoft Edge is rolling out via Windows updates KB4541301, KB4541302, and KB4559309. Microsoft even designated KB4559309 as “New Microsoft Edge Update for Windows 10, versions 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, and 2004”. But it is an evolution without possible turning back. This is because once the update is installed, there is no way to revert to the old Edge. The latest Edge imports bookmarks, passwords, and other data from the older browser to the newer one.
As our colleagues had indicated in their test, the configuration of Microsoft Edge is quite simple. Users are prompted to choose the look of the tab: “minimalist”, “artistic”, “informative” or “personalized”. Microsoft provides extensions compatible with Edge. But since the browser is based on Chromium, the open-source core code of Google’s Chrome browser, it is also possible to use the extensions for Chrome.
A generation ago, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer dominated the browser market. This is not the case with Microsoft Edge, whose adoption is still marginal: according to StatCounter, the market share of “legacy” Edge browsers barely exceeds 2%. But if Edge is installed on all Windows 10 PCs, this percentage could increase significantly. Everything will depend on how many people decide to try it, instead of continuing to use the browser they are used to.