It was reported a while back that Microsoft was planning to abandon its current Internet Explorer replacement, Microsoft Edge, and instead make Edge into a clone of Chromium. Chromium is the open-source browser project that serves as the foundation for Google Chrome, Opera, and several other web browsers.
Edge in its current form was barely four years old. Released for Windows 10 and Xbox One in 2015 and eventually for iOS and Android in 2017, the browser was meant to be a ground-up replacement for the aging and maligned Internet Explorer, which served as Microsoft’s web browser offering since 1995. Edge started as a lean, simple browser that became known for its speed, but also for its lack of flexibility when it came to user customizations and third-party addons.
Today, Microsoft is scaling back on the development of their own unique browser and will now utilize Chromium underpinnings with a Microsoft finish. This opens up opportunities for improved cross-compatibility of Chrome addons, easier adoption of ever-changing web design standards, and the ability to produce Edge for even more platforms. In fact, Microsoft has teased that there will even be a macOS version of Edge. That would make it the first Microsoft-made web browser for Mac devices since IE for Mac was discontinued in 2003.
While both “dev” and “canary” versions of the new Edge are now available, keep in mind that these are still pre-beta versions, so expect plenty of hiccups if you decide to try them out. As for when the stable version arrives to replace the old Edge, Microsoft has been quiet about any specific dates. We’ll just have to stay tuned.