back to article Microsoft's on Edge and you could be, too: Chromium-based browser exits beta – with teething problems

Microsoft's Edge browser, retooled to run on Chromium's open source foundation, has shed its beta designation and entered general release on Wednesday, promising performance, productivity, privacy, and value – a word which here means Microsoft Rewards gift card points for using Bing and access to so-called Premium News. Of …

  1. Scotthva5

    I'm not going to hold my breath...

    ...waiting for 1080p Netflix on Linux. That would be the only reason for me to use Edge over Brave.

    1. TVU Silver badge

      Re: I'm not going to hold my breath...

      At their main Ignite 2019 conference, Microsoft did give an undertaking that a Linux version of the new Edge browser would be released but it is likely to be months away yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm not going to hold my breath...

      Wait what... I'm almost certain I had 1080p on Linux. Was using firefox.

      1. overunder Silver badge

        Re: I'm not going to hold my breath...

        1080p on Linux... you might of, as once upon a time you could fake the funk with Silverlight. Last I tried, Netflix stopped this (and also added very aggressive VPN blocking).

        But on that subject, that doesn't explain this...

        "4K streaming (for Windows 10)"

        Either I missed the specific program for that limitation or the browser determines the delivery as a whole. Ah, now that's the Microsft we know and love. And you might have worried they'd changed after all (HA! M$4Life! Suckers!).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm not going to hold my breath...

          Perhaps it was 720p... I remember thinking "this is rubbish quality" but blamed it on the bitrate at the time.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: I'm not going to hold my breath...

            Ran well enough at 1080p on my linux based kodi box. This was about oct last year. I havent subbed since then as nothing new that i wanted has been added.

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    I could also

    > If you're not on Edge already, you could be

    Yes, I could be. I could also be on a lot of other similar things like crack, disease-ridden barflies, or a highway to hell, too.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Happy

      Re: I could also

      To date, I thought that Edge was the highway to hell! It was hard go get it to go anywhere else except on edge, was that how it gained its name?

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
        Joke

        Re: I could also

        "Highway to Hell"? "Livin' on the Edge"? You're getting your bands mixed up.

        1. overunder Silver badge

          Re: I could also

          "? You're getting your bands mixed up."

          Not entirely his fault... he hates Edge, but still searches with Bing.

          P.S. it would be an insult... if it wasn't true!!! :-p

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: I could also

      From dictionary.com:

      Idioms for edge

      21 have an edge on, Informal. to be mildly intoxicated with alcoholic liquor:

      He had a pleasant edge on from the sherry.

      22 on edge, a (of a person or a person's nerves) acutely sensitive; nervous; tense.

      b impatient; eager:

      The contestants were on edge to learn the results.

      ...it wouldn't be right to recommend Idiom No.21 as an antidote to Idiom No.22, but it's an interesting neighbourance - well, juxtaposition, but fancy words bring on NO.22 as well. ;-)

      1. JohnFen Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I could also

        > have an edge on, Informal. to be mildly intoxicated with alcoholic liquor

        I'd never heard "edge" used in this way. It's always nice to learn a new synonym for "tipsy".

  3. JakeMS
    Joke

    Translated

    "comes with our Privacy Promise and we can’t wait for you to try new features like tracking prevention, which is on by default, "

    Quick translation:

    comes with our Privacy Promise and we can't wait to collect your data from our OS! We'll protect you from being tracked by other companies, increasing the value of our collected data about you as it'll only be us who can provide that information to our advertisers.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Translated

      Microsoft teams won't run on brave because it blocks 3rd party cookies but works out of the box in edge

      1. kmedcalf

        Re: Translated

        There is no "block all third-party cookies". The third-party cookie blocking does not include blocking third-party cookies from Microsoft, or any tracking company in which Microsoft has a share, or anyone who pays Microsoft to allow their third-party cookies, no matter how you set it. This is described in EULA.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only they could include IE functionality

    I know. I know. Too much code and too much trouble but I can dream, especially of kicking Windoze under a VM off my Mac.

    1. Skoorb

      Re: If only they could include IE functionality

      It does. It comes with "Internet Explorer Mode".

      Details are at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployedge/edge-ie-mode

      "IE mode on Microsoft Edge is a simplified experience that combines a modern rendering engine and compatibility with legacy sites that require Internet Explorer in a single browser. IE mode provides an integrated browsing experience in Microsoft Edge, using the integrated Chromium engine for modern sites and leveraging Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) for legacy sites that require the Trident MSHTML engine."

  5. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

    After Edge browser we get the Jump browser.

    Every time someone mentions "Edge" I think of this:

    "You can't live on the edge all your life, Faith. Sooner or later, you have to jump"

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mirror's_Edge

    https://youtu.be/lo33D7RoBUA?t=8044

  6. Tim99 Silver badge
    Windows

    OK

    Just why would I install Edge on anything? On the rare occasions that I use Windows, I don’t use Edge.

  7. Arthur 1

    Language Issues Indeed

    Just tried to install it for kicks. Installer came up in Chinese and wouldn't change, installed copy was also in Chinese with no obvious way to fix the language. I don't ever use Chinese or have any regional settings related to China (nor do I speak it). Fun stuff. Pretty rough for a big release.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Arthur 1 - Re: Language Issues Indeed

      You have to appreciate this. Think of it, a developer takes the trouble to write a routine to generate a random number, convert it into a range of integer of exactly the same size as the number of available languages, use that resulting number to set the language of the browser. That monke... sorry, developer used his time and programming skills to bring this special feature to you hoping you will appreciate it. Not to mention about the QA team that spent countless hours testing all possible use cases making sure this feature works flawlessly.

      1. keithzg

        Re: @Arthur 1 - Language Issues Indeed

        There's no way that's true.

        We all know Microsoft doesn't have any QA teams anymore! They just have the Insider program, which discovers bugs that Microsoft then ships so that everyone can join in the fun experiences the Insider program folks had!

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Language Issues Indeed

      What's the problem? You don't have to speak Chinese, you merely have to be able to read it.

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Language Issues Indeed

      Microsoft has a keen business nose. Obviously it believes Chinese is the future!

    4. dougkiwi

      Re: Language Issues Indeed

      English = 0

      Programmer assumed uninitiated variable is set to 0

      Test environment supports assumption

      ???

      Fun!

  8. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Odd they support windows 7

    [quote]Microsoft may love Linux these days, but it isn't yet shipping a Linux build. Edge is currently available for macOS, Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10), iOS and Android.[/quote]

    Odd they did a build for Windows 7 when it is EoL.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Odd they support windows 7

      Not so much - Windows 7 is EoL only for non-paying customers. Guess they will try to get it installed on system under paid maintenance - for "security reasons".

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Odd they support windows 7

      I'm guessing it's part of a concerted effort to try and displace IE and Chrome within businesses. Edge was poorly supported and adopted because most businesses used either Win7 or a mixture of Win7 and Win10 - and IT departments don't see the point in making an effort to support something that's only available to certain users. Why bother when you can roll out Chrome to all PCs (regardless of Windows version) and have one consistent browser to support (with IE of course for legacy stuff).

      Hence by making Edgium available to Windows 7, MS probably hopes that it'll be more appealing for businesses to finally look at adopting it instead of Chrome - even those with legacy machines that are signed up to ESU.

      If only they'd realised this originally instead of their stupid plan of making the original Edge a "Windows 10 Exclusive" feature - a plan that backfired spectacularly!

  9. Updraft102 Silver badge

    'If you're not on Edge already, you could be."

    Um, no. I don't use any of the operating systems upon which it runs. I suppose I could try to run it on WINE, but why would I?

  10. The obvious

    Woop-de-do, another chromeskin...

    If we wanted/needed another crappy chrome-skin then there are a bunch of options. Checking code against multiple render engines was a useful thing to be able to do. I guess we learned nothing from the browser wars after all...

  11. Chris Hills

    Let us not forget

    Chromium traces its roots to KHTML which is free software built by the KDE community, which Edge now shares.

  12. JimPoak
    WTF?

    Premium News?

    And how is this distinguished from ordinary news? It is a bit clearer that Microsoft like's not Linux but Chromium in stead, the tainted version of Linux. Edge = Chrome something Microsoft adopted after IE left a bad smell that they could not get rid of. As for Chromium it has made distinctions between those who contribute to google coffers and those to be left out in the cold which makes add blocking academic rather than of practical use.

  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Basic, Balanced, and Strict"

    They forgot Nuclear, the option that not only doesn't accept trackers but also nukes the site the tracker comes from.

    If they implement that, I will switch to Edge in a heartbeat.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: "Basic, Balanced, and Strict"

      Balanced, blocks trackers from sites you haven't visited - so the browser is tracking all the sites you visit.

      1. Simian Surprise

        Re: "Basic, Balanced, and Strict"

        Every browser has a "History" feature, no?

  14. Elledan

    Today's browser wars are weird

    Having gone through the simpler days when IE was Evil, Netscape was the Good Guys, along with plucky underdogs like Opera, it's hard to make sense of today's browser landscape.

    It's clear that having a corporate-sponsored browser is the way to go. That's why Chromium (Google) is the only game in town these days, it seems. Firefox/Mozilla is limping along, but with income drying up, it may soon turn into another VPN provider that happens to offer a (Chromium-based) browser. Opera is using Chromium now. Safari is still using Webkit, but unless you're one of those Mac users, this doesn't matter to you.

    I guess that's why over time I have drifted from IE (3, 4) to Netscape (4.7x) to Firebird^WFirefox to Pale Moon (and Basilisk). Got to stick to the side of Good, after all. Some days it feels like Google is the Borg, resistance is futile, and we'll all be using Chromium in some form on a Google-ruled WWW before long.

    Some things never change, I guess.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Today's browser wars are weird

      "Firefox/Mozilla is limping along, but with income drying up, it may soon turn into another VPN provider that happens to offer a (Chromium-based) browser"

      Firefox is not a Chromium based browser, its the only multi-platform mainstream browser that isn't chromium based and that why I still use it as my main browser and have done since it was still in beta in the early 2000s.

      I understand why MS have to have a browser and also why it makes business sense to move Edge to Chromium engine. Yet I still don't to see many people moving away from Chrome if they already have it installed.

      As for there not being a Linux edge build, there is already several Chromium based browsers available for Linux so do we really need another. As I predict eventually MS will even drop the other builds of Edge for MacOS and Android when it fails to take off as they had hoped.

      1. Elledan

        Re: Today's browser wars are weird

        I didn't say that Firefox is Chromium-based right now.

        It's however likely that Mozilla will also use Chromium for Firefox once the dev budget dries up to maintain its own rendering engine. In light of Mozilla seeking to diversify itself, this seems less far-fetched than it may seem.

        Since Firefox already is by and large Chrome-compatible on account of using WebExtensions and nothing else, for users of Firefox nothing really would change if this change were to occur. It'd save Mozilla a lot of money on duplicating Google's efforts, however.

  15. tony72

    Edgemium

    Why are we not calling it Edgemium?

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Edgemium

      Mary Jo Foley christened it ChrEdge some time ago. I like that.

  16. Timmy B Silver badge

    Why.....

    I have been using it for a while in Beta. My overwhelming thought is "Why?". It looks virtually the same as Chrome. With extensions it will work virtually identically. It looks just as out of place in Windows as Chrome does. At least the old Edge did some things - that even if you didn't like them - made sense in the Windows landscape (UI was the same - pen support - One Note integration).

    Why I wouldn't use something like Brave, Vivaldi or another Chromium based browser is a mystery.

    If they, at least, added pen / touch support and the really good favourites and history panels, and made it look like old edge then I could see the merit in calling it Edge. As for now I suggest Chrinternet Explorer as in use it's closer to that old beast.

    1. Arthur 1

      Re: Why.....

      My surface was the one place edge made sense to me, largely because of those pen and other ms integrations. I hope this new browser, when available in English, doesn't lose them or edge's market share is likely to shrink even further.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Why.....

        Sadly it has lost them. On my surface I am sticking to the old Edge for as long as possible. Look at the Edge insider forums. Everyone keeps on about the UI and integrations - they've pretty much been ignored.

        Also worth noting you can't have both classic Edge and new Edge installed at the same time....

  17. Adrian Harvey
    Unhappy

    Access to file:// urls

    I really hope that the little comment about this as a “security” item isn’t Edge picking up the Chrome model for this where it’s hacked in somewhere low level in the code and doesn’t understand the difference between local file paths (which really are a different domain) and remote file paths (which are just another protocol), nor between corporate controlled web sites (which may even be running on the same box as the file server) and untrusted sites. As a result simple integration between web apps and legacy stuff either fails, becomes complex and a whole new kind of security risk, or forces users onto IE. I’m sure it was done with the best of intentions but Chrome has been causing me nightmares on some recent projects.

  18. Luiz Abdala Bronze badge
    Joke

    It is installed in another language than your own OS, because you never gave it permission to learn what is your default language... so it randomizes one.

    That's what I call PRIVACY.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Edge might be the best browser I have ever used

    If you had asked me last year, I would not have believed I would be writing this.

    I downloaded Chromium Edge Beta with very little hope and expected another bad Microsoft attempt at a Chrome rival. To my amazement, it wasn't that bad, in fact, as I used it, I struggled (and still struggle) to find anything wrong with it. It imported my Chrome settings and extensions, and just worked, very reliably.

    I was also happy to see the very familiar Chromium Dev Tools etc, which actually work better than Chrome (far more responsive). And it seems to not have the same massive memory consumption problems Chrome has (especially when Dev Tools are open).

    Assuming Edge hasn't replaced all of the Google tracking code with its own, Chromium Edge is the best parts of Google Chrome, without the 'Google' bit.

    (I don't work for Microsoft)

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Edge might be the best browser I have ever used

      Yep. And the sync with the Android version is good too.

      It's become (despite 30 years of being annoyed with Microsoft) my preferred browser.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair, just tried it an it feels pretty good. Great move from Microsoft this for standards and cross platform!

    Credit where its due.

  21. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Important feature missing

    All modern browsers seem to sync your settings, saved passwords etc - Certainly Firefox and Chrome do. And this new Chredge thing does too. Except it doesn't. Sync is meant to work through a microsoft account, but when I go to the sync settings in Edge, I see a message that 'Sync isn't available for this account'. Apparently there's some limitation with using Office 365 Business Premium accounts where you can't sync them. According to the developers, they're 'working' on it.

    Now look Microsoft: this is out of Beta, and an important (though possibly invisible) feature just doesn't work. You can do better than this!

  22. Czrly

    Finally, goodbye Chrome!

    I have been waiting for this for a LONG time. Finally, I can banish Google Chrome from my PC. (Firefox is, will continue to be and will always be my main browser.)

    I downloaded the new non-beta build of Edge-with-Chromium (that's what it calls itself, I believe) and tested it a bit. The headline results are these: the installed `msedge.exe` supports BOTH `--user-data-dir` AND `--app` and that means that I don't need Google Chrome anymore!

    I browse with Firefox but I make extensive use of shortcuts that employ these two command-line parameters to create sand-boxed environments for individual web apps that I use all the time. For example, I have a whole user-data-dir for work-related web apps and that's used to get an app-like experience with GitLab, Jenkins, Trello, Slack, etc. -- each one (launched with --app) gets its own task-bar button and its own window, remembers that windows last location for the next launch, and gets its own entry in the alt-tab list, just like a real app. Then I have another user-data-dir for personal apps and some of those apps are duplicates -- I have two instances of GitLab, for example, and, because of the separation of user-data directories, they behave completely independently -- I can even have them running side-by-side with separate logins.

    I've had to keep some form of Chrome around just for this, for years. Now, I don't need that any more because I can use the Windows built-in browser. (Not built-in, yet... but soon.)

    Do not misunderstand me: choosing to replace Chrome with Edge-with-Chromium is certainly a choice of the lesser evil. Ultimately, Microsoft are going to bundle a browser in their OS so actually using it costs me nothing as far as installed footprint is concerned. Also, I'm personally extremely anti-Google so, if I have to choose between data spies, I'll be choosing Microsoft any day of the week.

    I did experiment, in the past, with builds of Chromium sources that had been patched to remove Google's hooks into the code base but, personally, I found them to be very high-maintenance commitments and ended up returning to Chrome proper and feeling dirty for it. Replacing that with Edge-with-Chromium isn't a perfect solution but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

    There shall be NO Google software (or update services) running on my PC.

    1. Craig100

      Re: Finally, goodbye Chrome!

      What about Brave? Isn't that Chromium without Google snooping. I hope so, I've been using it for 13 months now and love it.

  23. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Thirds

    Google on Tuesday said it plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in 2022. By the time that happens, the search ads biz hopes to have built alternative tracking mechanisms into its Chrome browser. It's not yet clear whether those will be blockable.

    If it's from Google, then the answer will be "NO".

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020