Insider builds dress Chromium in Edge clothing – The Tech Report

Last December, Microsoft announced plans to dump Edge’s HTML and JavaScript guts in favor of Chromium, shortly after anonymous reports surfaced. At the time, Windows VP Joe Belifore pointed out that the mobile versions of Edge used open-source roots, so it made sense to do the same on the desktop. Now Microsoft is ready to show off the fruits of its labor: Edge Insider builds are ready to download to a Windows 10 PC near you.

The Edge team said in its blog entry posted today that the new builds are available in two experimental release channels: Canary and Dev. Neither of those channels is guaranteed to be stable, though—they’re not even labeled “beta”, and an actual beta version doesn’t have a street date yet. The good news for Edge users is that these early releases can be run side-by-side with the shipping version of Edge for easy testing.

The Canary channel, much like Chrome’s channel of the same name, consists of nightly builds that have passed automated testing. Anything that makes it into the Canary channel will have new features, bug fixes, and potentially new bugs. Qualified builds that make it into the Dev channel will be released weekly. These are aimed at web developers who need to validate newly-supported features on their web applications.

Microsoft also took some time to brag about Edge’s accessibility features. The company claims that Edge is the only browser to get a perfect score on the HTML5Accessibility browser benchmark. Fortuantely, Microsoft isn’t keeping its secrets all to itself, and the Edge team says it’s going to send several enhancements back upstream to the Chromium project. That’s potentially great news for folks who rely on assistive devices to use the Internet.

Users can also expect better integration with Microsoft services, support for encrypted media extensions, and Windows Hello support. Interested gerbils with PCs running Windows 10 can download one of the preview builds from Microsoft. Anybody who finds a bug in these new versions of Edge is welcome to submit a bug report to Microsoft’s issue tracker

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