Microsoft's Edge Chromium Browser

Microsoft introduced their new-and-improved Edge browser earlier this year. Microsoft has seen a lot of changes with their browsers in the past few years. First, they announced in 2015 they’d stop supporting Internet Explorer after almost 20 years. In 2018 Microsoft announced that they were revamping their Edge browser, launched in 2015, to integrate Chromium.   

What is Chromium?

Chromium is the open-source software that powers Google’s Chrome browser. Microsoft’s announcement that they’d be integrating Chromium into the Edge browser was big news. Google and Microsoft have competing browser products with Edge and Chrome; however, the two tech giants worked together on making Edge a better product.

One of the primary benefits of open-source software is that skilled developers can commit updates to the project. Microsoft has already improved page scrolling and power management on Chromium. By adding Microsoft’s resources and team of developers to the project, Chromium will improve, as will the browsers it powers.   

What can users expect from Edge Chromium?

By working with Google, Microsoft created a web browser that is compatible both with sites designed to support Chrome and sites that are still compatible with IE. This means virtually all websites will work with Edge Chromium, including sites where IE and Chrome may not work. If you’ve kept several browsers to maintain compatibility with different sites, then Edge Chromium could be your solution.   

Edge Chromium will be available for Windows 7, Windows 10, iOS and Android.  According to Microsoft, Edge Chromium is twice as fast as the previous version of Edge and as fast as Google Chrome. The browser has enhancements designed to enforce user privacy by blocking trackers and protecting search history.   

Although Chromium is an open-source software, Google adds some closed-source, proprietary features to Chrome that makes it different from Edge Chromium. Proprietary features include the ability to play proprietary media formats, a background app that keeps the browser updated, extension restrictions and error reporting. Edge developers will need to add their own features to match Chrome’s functionality.   

Which browser is right for you?

Choosing a browser that works best for you is a personal decision. The answer depends on your needs, behavior and work. At a minimum, you want a browser that is actively maintained and updated (this means no Internet Explorer).   

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are popular browser choices, and for good reason. Both are fast, lightweight and good looking. If you’re interested in bleeding edge technology, you may want to try the beta version of Edge Chromium and test it before it hits the market. If security is a top priority, you may like the Tor Browser, which makes users virtually invisible by running traffic through an anonymous server.   

If you host a website, you’ll also need to consider your users and the site’s browser compatibility. You want your website to be compatible on the browsers your customers are using. Understanding both your audience’s behavior and how your website works with different browsers is important when designing an effective website.   

For more on how web browsers impact your website, talk to IDMI.Net.