MICROSOFT HAS TAKEN another big step on the road to a Chromium future.
The Edge browser launched with Windows 10 is already available in Insider Preview in its new form, running on Google's Chromium engine. Now, the preview has been opened to Windows 7 and 8 users.
From Thursday, you'll be able to run a version of Edge (Chromium) alongside your existing browser (Internet Explorer) as the company gets closer to making the big switch official later in the year.
You may have spotted that there's something on an anomaly in all this. Windows 7 will be reaching End of Life (EOL) in just over six months, so it's kind of weird that users of the ageing system are getting any preview at all - though with Microsoft expected to make big spondulicks from extending support for businesses too slow, there's a vague logic.
Says Microsoft: "You will find the experience and feature set on previous versions of Windows to be largely the same as on Windows 10, including forthcoming support for Internet Explorer mode for our enterprise customers."
But it's not strictly true. Unlike the Windows 10 and Mac versions, there's no dark mode and no access to Azure Active Directories (AAD). The latter will only affect businesses, but the lack of dark mode is likely to cause that inexplicable blithering that the tech world can only quench by having the ability to turn the screen darker. Both of these features will be added later.
At the moment, the builds are very much Canary, which is your guarantee of borkability. The next channel to go live will be the Dev channel, followed by Beta and then stable - probably about a month apart.
Microsoft announced it was moving over to the Chromium engine last year, with some insiders alleging that the decision was taken because Google's changes were causing compatibility issues with EdgeHTML, meaning that it was easier to embrace the enemy than keep fighting it. μ
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