Microsoft hasn’t had much luck at all with Internet browsers over the last few years. Internet Explorer has been little more than a laughing stock and Microsoft’s latest offering, Edge, never had the firepower to break through Google Chrome’s stranglehold on the market.
We were reporting that Microsoft was already thinking about killing Edge before Christmas, and it wasn’t long into the new year that this was confirmed with the news that Edge is migrating over to Chromium. Rather than continuing as a completely independent web browser, Edge is to be rebuilt around the open-source code that sits at the heart of Google Chrome. We now have some screenshots showing what the new Edge browser will look like when it lands.
If two web browsers had a baby…
The guys at Neowin have been able to get their hands on screenshots of what the new browser will look like. Unsurprisingly, the browser looks a lot like Microsoft Edge but there are unmistakable elements from Google Chrome on show, too.
The first thing that catches the eye is the inclusion of the extensions button and a small profile picture in the top-right of the page. This set-up is as yet unseen on a Microsoft browser, but will be very familiar to Google Chrome users. Another feature familiar to Chrome users will be the bookmarks bar across the top.
On the flip, an Edge feature that is nowhere to be seen is the ability set aside currently open tabs. Edge features that are still there, however, include Bing as the integrated search engine and the ability to set New Tab backgrounds to Bing’s image of the day. Another Edge feature still in play is the personalized news feed, powered by Microsoft News, that is accessed by scrolling down on the homepage. There is also an option to personalize the appearance of this feed to one of four options.
Another interesting development we can take from these screenshots is the continuation of the Microsoft store for Edge extensions. Microsoft will continue to maintain its own extension store with Edge extensions being recompiled to work on the new Chromium-based browser. Users can search the extensions from within the Edge browser and then download them via the Microsoft store.
As the browser is based on the open-source code that built Google Chrome, however, all Google Chrome extensions will also work on the browser. This means that users of the new Edge browser will have two separate stores offering extensions for the browser.
The final change Edge users will have to deal with is to the Settings menu. Rather than Settings coming from a slide-out menu, they will now have their own tab, you guessed it, just like they do on Google Chrome.
All these changes add up to a browser that offers more choice to Google Chrome users without presenting anything new or difficult to get used to. As to whether this latest move from Microsoft will see Edge gain a greater market share, we’ll have to wait and see.
All images via Neowin