Microsoft Chromium Edge

Posted onby
As of Wednesday, January 15, Microsoft will make the non-beta version of its new, Chromium-based version of the Edge browser to Windows 10 Home and Pro users. We covered the beta version of Chromium-based Edge in November. The beta was still pretty raw then—but 'raw' is a relative term. The new Edge project began with a complete and fully functional Web browser—Chromium—so it worked fine for browsing the Web. There were just a few rough edges as far as installing extensions, logging into them, and the like.

We've seen one take waxing nostalgic for the old, purely Microsoft developed version of Edge, but we don't think many people will miss it much. It's not so much that Edge was a bad browser, per se—it just didn't serve much of a purpose. Edge didn't have the breadth of extensions or the user-base enthusiasm of Chrome or Firefox—and it was no better than they are at running crusty old 'Internet Explorer Only' websites and Web apps.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) is the replacement for both the older generation Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It is built using a Chromium base and is compatible with Google Chrome add-ons. Microsoft Edge (Chromium) is now replacing the older Edge version and will be the default browser for Windows 10 and its succeeding Windows. Microsoft Edge Chromium is Microsoft's new Chromium-based browser. It is intended to supersede Internet Explorer and the older version of Microsoft Edge based on EdgeHTML. This new version of Microsoft Edge offers new personalization tools, including a dark mode, as well as support for new extensions.

While there is some validity to worrying about one company 'controlling the Web' and one of Google's biggest competitors now becoming a Google downstream, we don't think those concerns add up to much. We don't want to see the full-on Google Chrome become any more indispensable than it already is—but we don't think Microsoft trading in its own fully proprietary, closed-source HTML-rendering engine for one of the two biggest open source rendering engines is a bad thing.

We downloaded the final beta version of Chromium-based Edge—the one available on the afternoon of the 14th, one day before the official launch—and took it for a spin in a Windows 10 virtual machine. Mostly, it still just looks like a slightly plainer version of Chrome—which isn't a bad thing! Sites load snappily, UI elements are familiar, and so forth. One of the biggest obvious improvements since the last time we test-drove Chromium Edge is the ability to install extensions from the official Chrome Web store.

Advertisement

Microsoft's own Web store is still extremely sparse—we went looking for the must-have, EFF-developed HTTPS Everywhere, and instead we got a recommendation for 'NBC Sports'—which does not seem well-loved by its users. However, typing 'chrome Web store' in the address/search bar took us right where we needed to go and presented us with an obvious tool-tip for installing third-party extensions. That was that—HTTPS Everywhere installed with a single click, just as you'd expect it to on Chromium or Google Chrome itself.

Microsoft Chromium Edge Browser

Chromium-based Edge is still missing a couple of obvious features to compete with the full Google Chrome experience—most notably, browser history and extensions don't sync between devices yet. This is described as a temporary problem in the 'Known Issues' page, and it may even be fixed already in the production version launching today.

Pushing the new Edge as something to look forward to right now is difficult—we suspect most people who really care about their browser will continue using Chrome, Firefox, or whatever less-well-known variant they've found and learned to love. Meanwhile, the people who have actually been actively using Edge likely won't notice much of a change—unless Microsoft bobbles something in the user data import functionality when they push the official, non-beta version out through Windows Update later this month.

In all likelihood, the change absolutely will improve the lives of the folks who 'just click the blue E' in the long run, though. It will likely make it easier for Microsoft to lure more technical users—who demand feature and extension parity but might be interested in Edge's Azure authentication back-end—away from Google Chrome.

This article initially stated that Chromium-based Edge was being pushed over Windows Update beginning on the 15th; a Microsoft representative reached out to correct us: it was only available for download beginning on the 15th, and will not be pushed over Windows Update until later this month. The article has been updated accordingly.

-->

This article describes the release cadence and anticipated release schedule for Microsoft Edge.

Release cadence

Chromium Edge Download Windows 10

Microsoft provides four options, called channels, to manage how often Microsoft Edge is updated with new features. The Microsoft Edge team plans to push public updates to the Beta and Stable channels every six weeks. For more information about our channels, their release cycle, and support levels, see the Channel overview.

Note

Microsoft Chromium Edge

Starting with Stable channel version 94, Microsoft Edge is moving to a 4-week major release cycle cadence. However, we recognize that enterprise customers who manage complex environments need more time to plan and test Microsoft Edge updates. To help our enterprise customers who need an extended timeline to manage updates, Microsoft Edge will offer an Extended Stable option aligned to a longer, 8-week major release cycle; this option will only be available for customers with managed environments.

Release schedule

Browser

The following table lists the planned release dates for the Beta and Stable channels.

Note

Release dates are approximate and might vary based on build status.

Microsoft Edge releases

The following table only tracks and provides information for major releases in both channels.

Edge
VersionRelease statusBeta Channel
Release week
Stable Channel
Release week
88Released
Version
09-Dec-2020
88.0.705.18
21-Jan-2021
88.0.705.50
89Released
Version
03-Feb-2021
89.0.774.18
04-Mar-2021
89.0.774.45
90Released
Version
16-Mar-2021
90.0.818.8
Week of 15-Apr-2021
90.0.818.39
91Target releaseWeek of 27-Apr-2021Week of 27-May-2021
92Target releaseWeek of 08-Jun-2021Week of 22-Jul-2021
93Target releaseWeek of 03-Aug-2021Week of 02-Sep-2021
94Target releaseWeek of 01-Sep-2021Week of 23-Sep-2021
95Target releaseWeek of 28-Sep-2021Week of 21-Oct-2021
96Target releaseWeek of 26-Oct-2021Week of 18-Nov-2021
97Target releaseWeek of 30-Nov-2021Week of 06-Jan-2022

Release Process

The trigger for Beta and Stable major releases is an equivalent Chromium release.

Microsoft chromium edge mac

Progressive rollouts

The date reference (Released/Release week) for the Stable channel references the beginning of the progressive roll out.

We use a progressive rollout model which means that new release availability for any given device could be staggered over upcoming days. For more information, see Progressive rollouts for Microsoft Edge Stable Channel.

Microsoft Chromium Edge Latest Version

See also