Chromium-based Edge Browser to Launch January 2020

John Lister's picture

Microsoft's revamped version of the Edge browser will launch on January 15, 2020. It's based on the same code as Google's Chrome and will be able to run Chrome extensions.

Designed as a replacement for the much maligned Internet Explorer, Edge debuted with the release of Windows 10 back in July, 2015. The original version was built from scratch using Microsoft's own browser engine, which is the component that turns a web page's code into what users actually see on the screen.

The new edition isn't simply an update but rather a complete rebuild. It will now use code and an engine taken from Chromium. That's an open source browser project that anyone is free to adapt, though it's best known as the basis of Google's own dominant Chrome browser.

Chrome Web the Leader in Browser Market Share in 2019

According to, currently Google Chrome browser is the leader in browser market share, which is 64.92%. That follows Safari at 15.97% (Apple and iOS devices), Mozilla Firefox at 4.33%, Samsung Internet (smartphones and tablets) at 3.29%, UC Browser at 2.94% (a Chinese owned browser by Alibaba group), and Opera at 2.34%.

Compared to just 10 years ago, those numbers were much different. Internet Explorer held approximately 55% of the browser market, with Firefox at 32%, and Chrome at 5.38%. It was around this time that there was a shift from using a PC to users switching to smartphones to get emails and surf the Internet.

New Chromium Edge Extensions Get Support

The biggest change in the new Edge browser is that it will support Chrome extensions.

Those are third-party tools that users can add to the browser to improve their online experience. Examples include ad blockers, password managers and a tools to send a long web page to a Kindle e-reader to read later.

Microsoft may be banking on the idea that most users ditched Internet Explorer for Chrome a long time ago, and are therefore reluctant to try Edge because of Chrome's extensions. It's also possible those users are simply happy with Chrome and aren't interested in trying out anything else.

Other changes in the revamped Edge include tracking prevention being switched on by default. That's a feature designed to block cookies which gather data as a user browses the web, rather than only operating on the site which issued the cookie.

Private Mode Covers Browsing, Search

There will also be a unified "InPrivate mode" that stops Microsoft and Edge keeping a record of the user's activity both in the browser and when using the Bing search tool. (Source:

Although the January 15, 2019 is the plan for the "general availability" of the browser, it is already available for manual download as a release candidate (RC). That's a very late stage of the development process where Microsoft is still open to making changes, but believes the software should now work reliably with all key features. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you use Edge? Will support for Chrome extensions make a difference? Would would make you move away from your current browser, if anything at all?

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buzzallnight's picture

and hang our heads in shame for M$
and vow never to be like them.
After years of effort they have managed
to seize defeat from the jaws of victory,
but at least their founder took the money and ran.
Oh wait, that is not good either!
I know you younger people don't remember
and probably don't even believe
there was a time when American companies were the best in the world.
Oh well, M$ isn't really an American company anymore anyway.