Microsoft Edge (Chromium) Review

Hello!

It has been a significant amount of time since I posted anything and today I am trying out something that I think was so surprising and so unlike Microsoft that I had to post about it.

Microsoft has created a new version of its Edge browser, this is based entirely upon the backbone of Chromium and promises to help increase the speed and compatibility of the browser against websites of the Internet.

So, I thought why not try it out.

Simple Chromium Installer
Nice simple Chromium Installer

Microsoft really has several opportunities to modify the new browser into something different, if there is one place I am glad that they didn’t change, it was the installer. The installation is clean and simple just like Chromium’s. The rest of the installation process was just as expected, simple and clean.

I dig it

When the installer finished, I had a new shiny icon on my desktop. Microsoft Ege “DEV”. You won’t easily mistake this new version for the current baked in Windows 10 version with is green banner stating “DEV”.

Shiny new icon

So with this new shiny browser installed, the first thing you see after opening is a decision to import data from Edge or other browsers installed or if you simply just want to have a new beginning.

Decision time… new beginning or carry my junk over?

I elected to “start from scratch” since this is installed on a Windows Server 2019 VM. That’s right, I’m not going to use IE on this VM nor will I install Googles Privacy busting browser on this VM. After you choose your data import preference, you’re presented with Microsofts first modification to the browser. These are new ‘looks’ for new tabs. When you open your browser without a homepage designated or a new tab, you are choosing what that new tab looks like. I am very happy Microsoft created this. You’re given the option to do three different “looks”. The first one is ‘Inspirational’, your most commonly used websites and a great image from the Bing image of the day gallery.

I feel inspired

The next one is Informational, this one is very similar to how Edge behaves presently with your most commonly visited websites as icons and a few News functions to get you up to speed on current events.

I’ve been informed…

The last one is one that I really think that engineers will enjoy using and deploying to their environments in the future, this one is ‘Focused’. It only shows a handy search bar that of course goes to Bing (can be changed in the settings pane if you wish) and your most commonly used websites.

Much focused.

For the sake of testing it out more, I’ve gone through and pinned it onto my taskbar and am going to set it up as my primary browser on this VM. Full disclaimer, I’ve been using it for over a week on a Windows 10 computer for work and was able to add several great addons from the Microsoft Edge Extensions store.

Microsoft Edge Extensions store – https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/insider-addons/category/EdgeExtensions

As of this morning, Microsoft also released several other new features including, Group Policy Management, Configuration File deployments, and Offline installers! (Thank you for the .msi Microsoft!)

Yes! Now I can handle SCCM installations and take care of curious Mac users!
Because group-policies are very important

Wait there’s more! Internet Explorer mode?! Could I possibly be able to get IE out of my builds finally?

I’m going to do some more testing on some notoriously bad IE required pages (I’m looking at you HPE and your iLO4/5 interface!) and see how well it works on these kinds of sites. Let me know what you think of the new browser and if you’re trying it out! You can check out the Microsoft Edge Installer page and grab the installer for yourself here.

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