The next generation of Microsoft’s Edge browser will be available to all in January.
Microsoft has been rebuilding Edge on Chromium, the open-source browser that also powers Google Chrome, for close to a year now. The newest version of Edge is available now as a “release candidate,” the stage in the product lifestyle prior to it becoming generally available that means all the features are built but it is still being tested for flaws. Microsoft is targeting January for general availability, with a goal of ironing out any remaining kinks by then.
In addition to the release date, Edge is getting an updated logo. Gone is the blue “e” that looks a lot like the old Internet Explorer logo. In its place is a blue and green “e” that resembles a wave and fits well with the recently redesigned logos for some of Microsoft’s iconic Office tools.
Microsoft hid the new logo inside an elaborate Easter Hunt for Windows Insiders that led to a surfing game.
Microsoft introduced Edge in 2015, and positioned it as a fast, lightweight and secure browser. However, it has been unable to chip away at Chrome’s significant lead in browser market share. This competitive backdrop adds some extra intrigue to Microsoft’s shift, as Chromium rose to prominence partly due to its ties to Chrome.
Microsoft first announced plans to adopt Chromium as the under-pinning of Edge last December “to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.” The company launched the first preview builds of the browser back in April and debuted a beta version in August.