Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser starts rolling out over Windows Update

Microsoft is finally beginning its rollout of its Chromium-based Edge browser today, and it's been a long journey. The rebuild of the company's in-house browser was announced back in December 2018. While public previews started shipping in April, it wasn't until a few months ago in January when Microsoft announced general availability.

But as it turned out, general availability was just a term for another level of beta testing. The browser was made available for download on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and macOS, but it never actually rolled out to replace Edge Legacy. It was also missing key, basic features, like support for ARM64 PCs, history sync, extension sync, and more. In February, Microsoft rolled out the browser to the Release Preview ring of the Windows Insider Program; that's right, it was made available to beta testers over a month after general availability.

While history sync is still missing, the new Edge is meant to be a full-on Chrome competitor, as it's built from the same rendering engine. Microsoft has removed all of the Google bits and replaced them with its own, and of course, it's added its own flavor. Features that you'll find on Edge and not in Chrome include streaming Netflix in 4K, better privacy controls, PDF inking, IE mode, and more. There's even a surf game you can play that's baked in.

Updates for Edge will arrive every six weeks, which is kind of a big deal. The previous Edge was tied to the OS, so it could only be updated with a Windows 10 feature update, and those arrive every six months. Splitting the OS not only lets Microsoft keep up with competitors, but it also allows Edge to be ported to other operating systems, such as older versions of Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The new Edge will arrive via Windows Update, although future updates will arrive through the browser itself. Once your system reboots, you'll be greeted by a full-screen, 30-second-ish intro that forces you to set up the app. According to documentation, it's only rolling out right now for Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1809, so later versions like 1903 and 1909 should be getting it soon.

Update: It seems that there's yet another update that replaces the other two, and that KB article claims that it's rolling out over Windows Update for everyone.

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