Thursday, January 23, 2020

Microsoft Unveils Its New Chromium Edge Browser

If you’re a part of the 70 percent of loyal Chrome users like myself, then you may have missed last week’s announcement from Microsoft releasing their newest update to their web browser, Chromium Edge. The revamped web browser got more than just a logo update (say goodbye to the blue “e”), there are numerous new features that may cause you to reconsider your loyalties to your current web browser.

A Quick History Lesson

Before we get into the new features of Chromium Edge, let’s take a brief step back in web browser history to see how far Microsoft Edge has come. Flashback to 2008, the iPhone is only a year old, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the most popular web browser, and consumers are heavily relying on computers for online activities. Fast forward a few years later, adoption of mobile skyrockets, which means so did mobile search traffic. Google saw this as an opportunity to develop a revolutionary new web browser that would support this new trend. As a result, Google Chrome debuted with the start of the open-source Chromium Projects in 2008. This allowed Chrome to continually improve and update, while Microsoft’s web browsers, Internet Explorer and Edge, lacked updates to their platform…until now.

Introducing Chromium Edge

So how will Chromium Edge be different than its predecessor, Microsoft Edge? Microsoft chose to rebuild their web browser with Chromium’s open-source project, the same one that Google Chrome is based on. Chromium’s open-source project whose goal is to ensure a more stable and secure experience on the Internet. And if you’re wondering if Chromium Edge will be a replica of Google Chrome, the answer is no…both browsers have a completely unique experience.

Enterprise application software can be difficult and expensive to manage, especially if companies are supporting multiple web browsers, and Chromium Edge offers new features to solve this issue. Tracking prevention on the revamped web browser will help protect users’ privacy by protecting users from cybersecurity threats. Another security feature in Chromium Edge is the new InPrivate mode that doesn’t connect you to your online searches. And since Chromium Edge is operating on the Chrome open-source project, extensions will now be available to be installed from the Chrome Web Store. 🤯

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Anyone who has had experience using an intranet knows the frustrations of searching for a specific PDF or even an employee record. Chromium Edge might be the antidote to this headache. By integrating a company’s intranet with Microsoft Search in Bing, you can now search the web and your company’s internal website at the same time. For that working on-the-go, don’t worry: Chromium Edge is available on mobile too. With Chromium Edge, you could stop wasting 20 percent of your time scouring your company’s intranet looking for something you know is there and increase your productivity… or looking at funny memes (no judgment here).

Developers and Chromium Edge

So what does this mean for developers? Because Chromium Edge is working on the Chromium open-source project, compatibility issues web developers once faced will be gone. This is a huge deal because something in development that may not have worked on Microsoft Edge would sometimes not get fixed due to the low adoption of Microsoft Edge. Last but certainly not least, Progressive Web Apps will be supported on Chromium Edge! If you need a quick refresher on the PWA platform, they are the future of the web (to put it lightly). PWAs lead to higher conversations and engagement rates because they work on all operating systems and don’t have to be downloaded in the app store!

Ready to switch web browsers yet? Chromium Edge is a perfect example of bringing the web and apps together. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out our Mobile Matters podcast episode where our VP of Sales and Marketing sits down with Principal Program Manager Lead at Microsoft, Jeff Burtoft.