Running Microsoft Edge (Chromium Beta) on Windows

So I decided to take the plunge and try out the new Microsoft Edge browser on my windows 10 machine. Now that may not sound like a big deal to most but unless you have been living in the dark ages then you would have already known that Microsoft have decided to scrap the existing browser engine and replace it with the engine that powers the Chromium browser.

The big news is that the Edge browser will be coming out for Linux. Now there isn’t a definite release date yet but it will be out sometime next year, and it was this announcement that prompted me to go have a play with the Windows version. To view the full presentation please visit https://myignite.techcommunity.microsoft.com/sessions/79341?source=sessions

Installation

Installation is very easy, however, I was a bit dubious about the heading of ‘Download Microsoft Edge Beta Channel’ as I thought that it was going to mess about with my Windows 10 installation…. I didn’t…. I was just being paranoid.

Read through the legal stuff if you so wish and then click on the Accept and Download button. Follow the prompts and after a couple of minutes, you will be good to go.

The first thing you will notice is that the existing Edge browser will still be available. I guess that this will be the case until the new Edge browser comes out of Beta on January 15th at which time you will be invited to download the production version which I assume will remove and replace the existing Edge Browser.

How does it run?

Surprisingly well. All my browser extensions that I would use all run perfectly. In fact, the Bit Warden browser extension that was plagued with problems on the existing Edge browser now runs flawlessly! , The browser itself is very snappy and the browsing experience is very slick. I have also run Plex web player on it and again no issues and video playback was really smooth with no lag.

I do work from home a lot and as such have to remote into my desktop PC via Oracle’s Secure Global Desktop. If anything was going to be a deal-breaker then I thought that this would be it. Again no issues with the login process and I wasn’t even prompted to download any Java runtimes which I would have expected as SGD will detect if your browser is capable of running HTML5 and will switch to that mode automatically.

User Interface

The user interface is very similar in look and feel to that of Windows 10. The browser settings are very straight forward. If I have one gripe its the fact that you cannot change the default search engine on the home page or at least I haven’t found out how to do it yet, however, you can change and add search providers via the Privacy and Services Link.

All other settings are nicely laid out with clear explanations as to what each setting does.

Overall Impressions

I really like this browser, even though it is in Beta I have had no issues whatsoever. It just works out of the box. You will definitely notice the performance improvement. I suspect there will be a few more tweaks before final release but for me, this is looking like the go-to browser for my windows machines and possibly my Linux machines as well when available. Microsoft has done well with this rebuild and I would definitely recommend giving it a go.

If you want to download the latest Beta of Edge Chromium then visit https://www.microsoftedgeinsider.com/en-gb/