Microsoft would surely like to lure people back from browsers like Chrome to its own Edge, but the new Chromium-based Edge browser could also be effective in keeping people in the Microsoft ecosystem instead of them immediately downloading Chrome when they buy a new Windows 10 computer.
The new version of the Microsoft Edge for macOS based on the Chromium engine is available to download now.
Technically this is the 79th stable version of Edge, with Edge 80 set to land in February and regular updates arriving every six weeks from then on. Microsoft says that switching to Chromium offers better compatibility, improved performance, and less fragmentation for developers. Specifically, the browser makes use of the Chromium web engine.
One of Microsoft's big pushes is on the security front -:Edge features three levels of tracking protection (Basic, Balanced and Strict - Balanced is the default) created to make your browsing a little more private. There's also an Internet Explorer mode for some reason, and a lot of other Microsoft-y things like Active Directory support you'd expect from an app that might go into corporate environments. It also comes with the Collections feature, which allows users to collect images and content from the web in a central place. Right now, it is missing features like extensions and history sync. Microsoft plans on maintaining three different builds of the browser: Canary, Dev, and Beta.
That said, if you're running Windows 10, you will be receiving the new Edge as an update, at some point in the next few months. The Chromium foundation, however, gives Edge access both to Microsoft's list of curated plugins as well as the vast array of extensions available via Google's Chrome Web Store, which offers far more flexibility than the old Edge ever did. However, only time will say how many users switch from Chrome or Safari on macOS.
Once you've installed the new Edge, you can start linking your Google account. Let us know in the comments section below.