COULDN'T BEAT SO JOINING browser maker Microsoft has confirmed that its new retooled version of Edge, the default browser in Windows 10, will be available in preview to everyone.
The upcoming relaunch will see Edge replace its engine with the open source Chromium code base used for Google Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi amongst others.
Microsoft, perhaps wary of withholding a product that, historically, nobody really gave a rats about anyway, has confirmed that this will be an open beta, bypassing builds of Windows 10 offered to the Insider (beta) program.
First reported in Techdows, the Edge Preview will be available to anyone who wants to see in which ways Microsoft has stuffed it up before the old one goes away.
Not that anyone used that anyway - its market share remains absolute toilet, at just 4.61 per cent for January 2019. Even Internet Explorer is more popular, at 7.94 per cent.
Even allowing for the fact that Edge is only available to Windows 10 users, Microsoft can't hide anymore, now that Windows 10 is its most popular operating system. In fact, Safari is only 0.61 per cent behind Edge, meaning it's a margin-of-error away from dethroning Edge's current fourth place.
Chrome remains the most popular browser, with over two-thirds of the market (67.29), and adding in Opera, Chromium (open source version) and Vivaldi alone make give Chromium-based browsers over 70 per cent.
Microsoft is in dire need of a decent browser, and although its decision to move over a Google-run system may seem like a massive climbdown, the reliability, compatibility and familiarity that it will create, might just make Edge more tempting to punters.
Particularly beneficial will be the ability for Edge users to add the extensive library of extensions and web apps already built for Chromium.
It's not known if the conscious uncoupling will remain beyond the preview, nor if this new version of Edge will available to older versions of Windows, but we rather fancy in the case of the latter, not.
Edge based on Chromium will be available in preview later in the first half of the year. μ
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