Edge Microsoft

Microsoft’s plan to migrate you to new Edge

Microsoft recently outlined its plans on how it will migrate Windows 10 users to the new Edge.

If you are wondering what is new Edge, and you already got one with Windows 10. So here’s a brief what is happening to the current Edge that is available in Windows 10 and what is this New Edge?

When Windows 10 released back in 2015, one of the biggest selling point for the new Operating System was Edge – the new browser based on Microsoft’s own EdgeHTML and Chakra engines that was going to eventually replace the once most popular browser on the planet, Internet Explorer.

Unfortunately, Edge (currently found in Windows 10) never picked up as its rivals and dominant player, Google’s Chrome or even FireFox. I actually switched to Edge and I found it okay.

There were couple of issues with Edge. It was behind Chrome in a big way. When it launched, it didn’t come with Chrome’s most important feature – the Plug Ins or Extensions. There are hundred of thousands extensions available for Chrome which extends its capabilities. Eg, AdBlockers, LastPass and many others.

Microsoft started supporting plug-ins later on in the browser but I guess it was already late. The other reason why I seriously don’t understand is Microsoft deeply integrating Edge with Windows 10 core. What this means, Edge could not be updated on its own whenever a new feature needed to be pushed to users. In fact, it was tied to Windows 10’s Feature Updates which gets updated twice a year. Edge should have never been tied to the OS updates at the first place, this was a big mistake.

Edge, which already lacked a lot of features and was behind popular browsers, got updated way slower than its competitors.

Old Edge

The new Edge – based on the Open Source Chromium version was announced in December 2018 by Joe Belfiore. In the new Microsoft ever since Satya Nadella took over as a CEO, Microsoft has been embracing a lot of Open Source projects. So much so that they even bought GitHub, included Windows Subsystem for Linux and then the single most important application found on Windows 10 – the browser is also on an Open Source project.

New Edge

This is what Joe wrote in December last year,

For the past few years, Microsoft has meaningfully increased participation in the open source software (OSS) community, becoming one of the world’s largest supporters of OSS projects. Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.

Now that you are updated with what is new Edge, let’s talk about what is happening to new Edge today.

Microsoft (new) Edge has been in beta testing for nearly a year now and I have been using it ever since it was available for testing. I hardly got into any serious issues with beta version, apart from some recent builds where it crashed when I visited certain websites. But that was also quickly fixed in their weekly updates.

Unlike the old Edge, the new Edge has its own release cadences since it is no longer tied to OS Feature Updates which thus far are twice a year. Edge Dev team can release new features and fixes frequently.

Edge has got three testing channels for tech enthusiasts, developers and IT Professionals. The channels are Beta (updated monthly), Dev (updated weekly and the one I am on) and Canary (updated daily for living on the Edge folks).

Targeted towards IT Pros

Microsoft at Ignite announced that new Edge will be ready for release on January 15 2020. I personally also feel that Edge is now ready for prime time since I don’t see any showstopping bugs. The browser is actually really good and fast.

I will write an in depth review just around the time of release.

Microsoft recently shared their plans on how it is going to replace the current Edge with the new Edge when it is generally available in 2020.

As per the information, when the stable version of new Edge is available, it will automatically be pushed via Windows Update as a Cumulative update. Microsoft also advised on how the old Edge will be replaced by the new Edge and I think it is important to know some of these details below:

  • All start menu pins, tiles, and shortcuts for the current version of Microsoft Edge will migrate to the next version of Microsoft Edge.
  • All taskbar pins and shortcuts for the current version of Microsoft Edge will migrate to the next version of Microsoft Edge.
  • The next version of Microsoft Edge will be pinned to the taskbar. If the current version of Microsoft Edge is already pinned, it will be replaced.
  • The next version of Microsoft Edge will add a shortcut to the desktop. If the current version of Microsoft Edge already has a shortcut, it will be replaced.
  • Most protocols that Microsoft Edge handles by default will be migrated to the next version of Microsoft Edge.
  • Current Microsoft Edge will be hidden from all UX surfaces in the OS, including settings, all apps, and any file or protocol support dialogs.
  • All attempts to launch the current version of Microsoft Edge will redirect to the next version of Microsoft Edge.

If you already haven’t tried the Chrome-based new Edge yet, I advise go ahead and try it. You can go into Beta channel which in my opinion is quite stable already. If interested you can download from here.

So far Microsoft Edge Dev team has done a fantastic job and I am actually excited when new Edge is publicly released on January 15th.

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