ByAdeline Belluz 2019-05-10 1344
What a bang: At the end of 2018, Microsoft, once the largest browser manufacturer in the world, announced that it was largely withdrawing from the complex browser development process. Admittedly, the last successes are a long time ago, and with the Edge browser based on the company's own EdgeHTML engine, Microsoft was denied the breakthrough. Instead, the company will in future use the "Chromium" substructure in its browser - an open source project on which Google's browser Chrome is also based. But the Windows maker promises: his new "Microsoft Chromium Edge" is not a 1:1 copy of Chrome, but combines the advantages of Chrome and Edge. At the in-house developer conference Build 2019, Microsoft presented promising new features.
Pleasing: Microsoft boss Satya Nadella promised that the new Chromium Edge would not only come for Windows 10, but also for Windows 7, MacOS, iOS and Android. On its website "Microsoft Edge Insider Channels" currently (May 9, 2019), the group offers only the Dev and Canary versions of the new browser for Windows 10. Both are very early pre-release versions that are not intended for everyday use. But a resourceful Twitter user has already found the beta version for Windows 10 on the Microsoft servers - and published it. According to Microsoft, this beta is the most stable of the three pre-releases, which get new features every six weeks.
The first trial version is intended primarily for developers and is only available in English. Microsoft still has a lot of work to do before the browser is ready. So far features like spell checking are missing and there are problems with login, matching with the Microsoft account and streaming media files to external devices. After all, browser extensions from Chrome and Chromium already work: To avoid being dependent on Microsoft's poor add-ons offer, go to the page edge://extensions in Chromium Edge and activate the function "Allow extensions from other stores" there. Then install the desired extensions from the Chrome Web Store. What you can expect from Microsoft's Chromium Edge can be read in the following sections.
Most important innovation in Chromium Edge: easier privacy settings - thanks to three modes. People who don't want to share surfing data with others on the web can choose the "Strict" option. However, this should block comfort functions such as automatic login to websites. If you only want to track websites you have already visited, select the "Moderate" setting. With the option "Unrestricted" everything is allowed.
Another innovation: With the "Collections" function, Microsoft provides the browser with a sidebar into which users can optionally drag web pages, photos, videos and texts. Chromium Edge automatically prepares the whole thing pretty and neat. If, for example, someone has researched prices for a camera, these can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet using Collections. On the demo it looked amazingly simple. It remains to be seen what the fresh Edge browser will do in reality with differently formatted content. This also applies to the new Internet Explorer mode: thanks to it, web applications developed for IE should work in Edge - especially interesting for companies.
Chromium Edge already supports Microsoft's PlayReady DRM technology, making it easy to play Netflix content in 4K. This is not a sensation in itself: Even the conventional Edge with EdgeHTML engine shows UHD movies & Co. But the fact that Google's Chrome browser only plays videos in HD resolution so far is astonishing. If Microsoft can manage 4K with Chromium technology, Google will be able to do the same with its browsers in the future - so hope Chrome fans. They have to switch to Microsoft's Edge browser or Netflix's Windows 10 app for the highest possible image quality under Windows 10. The prerequisite for UHD playback on the PC is a 4K monitor with an activated 60 Hertz mode. In order for Netflix to deliver content in UHD resolution, the user needs a premium subscription.
Google Chrome has established the Chromium engine. So it's not surprising that Google welcomes the move announced by Microsoft: "We welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium supporters," the company says, affirming how good and important this trend is for "an open web that best supports users. In addition to Microsoft, many other browsers such as Vivaldi and Opera rely on Chromium technology. Google hopes to work on the engine together with Microsoft and thus land its Chrome browser on the Windows 10 S operating system, for example, which so far only knows the Edge browser.
Mozilla regrets Microsoft's decision and the increasingly shrinking competition. The Firefox manufacturer fears that its own and other browsers with alternative technology will find it increasingly difficult to assert themselves against Google's overwhelming dominance. Chrome now has more than 60 percent market share. If you want to take a look at the Chromium technology, you can try Google Chrome and the open source browser Chromium.
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