Time is almost up for the classic Microsoft Edge browser that launched with Windows 10. After slowly deploying the new Chromium-based Edge over the past several months, Microsoft is rolling the browser out widely. If you’re on any recent build of Windows 10, the new Edge will arrive on your machine via Windows Update soon.
Microsoft spent years trying to entice Windows 10 users to open Edge, going so far as to push “warnings” about Chrome’s battery life usage. In the end, Microsoft threw in the towel and announced its move to Chromium in late 2018. The first developer builds of Edge came just a few months after the announcement. Roughly a year later, the browser was ready for prime time.
Chromium Edge (Microsoft just calls it “Edge”) uses the same open-source engine behind Google’s Chrome browser. It even looks a bit like Chrome, but Microsoft has made some changes to bring it in-line with the Windows aesthetic and integrate custom features like collections, a dark theme, and tracking prevention. It’s also much faster and better at rendering pages than Microsoft’s EdgeHTML engine from the legacy Edge browser.
Microsoft started pushing the Chromium Edge browser to some PCs in January 2020. There was also a manual download for those who wanted to run the latest and greatest right away. Only people running the April 2018 update (version 1803) got the browser automatically, allowing Microsoft to watch for any issues in the upgrade. Now, the new Edge is rolling out to anyone running version 1803 through the latest may 2020 update (version 2004).
Microsoft says the KB4559309 update will add Edge to your PC. The upgrade process will move your favorites, passwords, and other personal data from the old browser to the new one. However, there is no way to go back to the legacy version of Edge after upgrading. You can avoid the update for a bit longer if you really want the old browser for some reason, but its days are numbered.
The new Edge helped Microsoft pass Firefox’s usage share back in April. Rolling the browser out to most Windows 10 installs should boost it even more. However, Microsoft probably isn’t going to get anywhere close to Google, which owns nearly 70 percent of the desktop browser market, according to NetMarketShare.
- Google Warns Edge Users Who Install Extensions From Its Web Store
- Microsoft Contributes New Tab Management Features to Chromium Project
- Microsoft’s Chromium-Based Edge Browser Officially Launches January 15, 2020