Microsoft Releases Edge Chromium for macOS

Microsoft released a new browser for macOS based on Google’s Chromium engine. The browser may assist enterprise users in accessing legacy intranet sites and web applications.

By Chand Bellur

January 17, 2020 at 9:03 p.m. PDT

Microsoft’s New Browser Uses Google’s Engine

Google, Microsoft and Apple have all combined in a technological blender of sorts. The end result, yet another web browser, may have practical applications for legacy enterprise web apps.

Choosing Google’s Chromium browser engine was a logical choice. The extremely popular engine has a large developer base. Software plugins, known as extensions, are fast, compiled components that can do far more than a web app running in a browser. Extensions can better interact with the operating system or with distant web services.

Although Microsoft’s own web engine is capable of running extensions, developers were not attracted to the platform. Lacking traction and market share, third-party developers preferred Chromium extensions to Microsoft’s proprietary technology.

You Should Avoid This Browser

It’s difficult to remain impartial when Microsoft’s software is so obviously and frustratingly defective. A brand new release of any software from Microsoft should be avoided. Although, on a Mac, it will run in a protected sandbox, preventing it from corrupting the operating system, a first release from Microsoft is destined to be a frustrating experience.

In time, the browser should improve, however, there are so many other better, mature browsers for the Mac. The only possibly useful feature in Microsoft’s new Edge browser is “Internet Explorer” mode. This technology allows users to emulate Microsoft’s older browser technology.

Internet Explorer compatibility mode is actually part of Google’s Chromium engine, and is available in the Chrome browser. If you’re worried about stability in a brand new Microsoft release, you can get the same legacy compatibility with Chrome. Microsoft’s own browser just achieved compatibility with Internet Explorer, thanks to Google’s engine.

The world is full of browsers and now there’s a new one from Microsoft. Although it is compatible with older websites, Chrome and other browsers have offered the same flexibility for some time. In essence, Microsoft released a product that should have been released years ago, and doesn’t really address a present day need. If you desire visiting legacy websites in a Microsoft branded browser, Edge for macOS may be for you.

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