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edge-on chrome approaches; Building leaks, extension page already live

  The Edge Insider extension.

The Edge Insider extension.

Microsoft's first public version of a Chromium-based version of the Edge browser is fast approaching. Microsoft has released an early version of its expansion market for the new browser, and the Windows Store includes a new extension for Edge-on-Chromium. In addition, a build of the browser has leaked.

The new build confirms much of what we've seen before: The browser is a minimally modified version of Chrome that accounts for integration with Google's accounts replaced by integration with Microsoft. This integration is still at an early stage. Bookmarks can be synchronized between systems, but history, passwords, open tabs, autocomplete information, and open tabs are not yet synchronized.

Google has several release channels for Chrome. Next to the stable channel, there is a beta channel that previews the next version, the dev channel previews the release after, and the canary channel, which provides nightly builds. Microsoft's new extension for Edge Insider seems to allow easy switching between channels, announcements, known issues, and users' questions about targeted testing in specific areas.

In addition to this extension provided by Microsoft, we can also look at a selection of (presumably) validated extensions for Edge Insider.

This makes it clear that Microsoft does not seem to offer a specific Edge-on-Chromium branding. The pre-release version is referred to as Edge Insider because insider is the branding of all the company's previews (for example, Windows, Xbox, and Office already use this terminology). The preview will also make a big leap forward in terms of version numbers (Edge is somewhere in the mid-1

940s, while Chrome is now in the mid-70s), but it seems Microsoft's goal is that the new browser is just "Edge". One day it will be the current Edge, the next day you will install a Windows Update, and it will become the new Edge.

Microsoft is also trying to learn more about the Chromium development process and to create a set of explanatory documents on the functions the company wants to work on and the way it intends to go. As the company has previously communicated, the initial focus is strongly focused on the accessibility features to enable much greater integration and collaboration with software such as screen readers. Caret browsing, integration with the Windows Accessibility APIs and high-contrast visual modes are on the priority list.

Redmond developers have also described how they want to improve the scrolling power of Chrome for a smooth, consistent look like Edge.

Listing image of SOPA Images | Getty

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