Microsoft announced that it was rebuilding the Edge browser back in December 2018. The Chromium-based browser would eventually replace legacy Edge in Windows 10. Public previews for the browser were made available in April 2019, with the offering finally hitting general availability - well, sort of - in January 2020. While Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and macOS users could manually download Edge, it wasn’t until this month that the company began rolling it out via Windows Update.
Now, Microsoft has announced that the Chrome-competitor is now being made more broadly available through Windows Update. The firm states that the original rollout excluded education and business devices and that beginning today, those devices will also start receiving the new browser via Windows Update.
However, the change will not be served to enterprises that manage updates via Windows Update for Business (WUfB) or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Interestingly, legacy Edge will be replaced for education devices first “to accommodate back-to-school timing”, the firm adds. The Redmond giant touts security as one of the main reasons for the decision to initiate the switch to the new browser.
The Chromium-based Edge browser aims to take on Chrome and since it is based on the same rendering engine, it brings about a familiar experience on the web. Additionally, many Edge features such as IE Mode, single sign-on, and Azure AD Conditional Access, and more make it a viable alternative to Chrome. Microsoft also says that it recommends that businesses “consolidate on one browser to access the modern web and legacy web apps”. While there are a few benefits in using the browser, it still ships without some basic functionality, such as history sync.
The company says that it will provide a detailed timeline for when business users will begin seeing the update to replace Edge Legacy with the Chromium-based Edge. However, it assures users that the change will not affect any pre-set preferences such as the default browser.