A new browser is now in beta and it is Chromium- based. This is the Microsoft Edge beta. Both Windows 10 and MacOS users can try out this new version of Edge, based on Google's open-source Chromium code.
Engadget's Devindra Hardawar and others delivered the news on Tuesday, that this Microsoft browser was ready for beta testing. You can anticipate updates every six weeks.
Nonetheless, beta is beta. It appeared as if Microsoft is not about to suffer any dips when the browser does formally leave beta. "Microsoft is calling on researchers to help sniff out any security glitches in the beta version of its new Chromium-based Edge browser before officially pushing it live," reported Lindsey O'Donnell in Threatpost Tuesday.
Enter the Microsoft Edge Insider Bounty. This is the way the company formally announced the program: "The Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) Insider Bounty Program welcomes individuals across the globe to seek out and submit vulnerabilities unique to the next version of Microsoft Edge based on Chromium. Qualified submissions are eligible for bounty rewards of $1,000 USD to $30,000 USD."
Bounties will be awarded based on "the severity and impact of the vulnerability and quality of the submission, and subject to the Microsoft Bounty Terms and Conditions."
Hardawar said this will be the last test version of the browser before its official release and he ran off key features: dark mode, online tracking prevention and the speed boost from Chromium.
Brandon Hill in HotHardware called his readers' attention to "notable" features such as Windows Defender Application Guard. It is designed to help protect the browser from "nefarious websites and phishing attacks."
In an interview with Engadget, the mood over the beta at Microsoft was high confidence over future success.
No wonder: They had a lot from potential users to go by. Hill in HotHardware reported that Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president, said preview builds of Microsoft Edge were downloaded over 1 million times and the company was bestowed with 140,000 pieces of feedback on the browser.
Frederic Lardinois in TechCrunch: "The company now feels that it knows enough about how well Edge works on a wide range of machines and that it is stable enough for enthusiasts, web developers and business users to give it a try before its wider release."
What is Microsoft's strategy in promoting a new day for Chromium-based Edge? Hardwar took his turn in spelling it all out. "The Edge browser was a noble attempt at moving away from Internet Explorer's legacy, but now that most of the web is built for Chrome, it simply makes sense for Microsoft to adopt Chromium. The real goal is obvious: Microsoft is hoping users will actually stick with the revamped Edge, instead of rushing to install Chrome whenever they get a new PC."
On the Microsoft Insider page, Microsoft said, "We've also started making contributions back to Chromium in areas like accessibility, touch, ARM64 and others. Our plan is to continue working in Chromium rather than creating a parallel project."
So, if the browser is so Chromium-based, will users notice anything different, especially those who have been using Chrome as their default all along?
Alex Kranz answered in Gizmodo: "As far as differences go, the most obvious one will be the UI. If you like the UI design Microsoft has been incorporating into Windows 10, you'll love Edge regardless of what platform it's on. Menus are well labeled and easy to read, and tabs have nice sharp edges that are a welcome contrast from Chrome's gentle curves."
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