Microsoft has a rather chequered history developing web browsers, having stuck with Internet Explorer for so long, then switching to the brand new Edge which initially lacked support required by a basic browser, such as third-party extensions.
As an example, after Edge was launched, people who had been used to deploying a secure keyboard for their internet banking, found it wouldn’t work with the browser and came back to us demanding a refund, thinking the security software didn’t support their browser of choice. Little did they realise the fault was with the browser, such was their trust in Microsoft.
The problem with web browser development is the core engine and that requires huge manpower to keep it secure and keep in inline with the latest technology improvements. Microsoft has had enough competing and has decided to switch to a Chromium source, which is the engine which powers Google Chrome amongst other web browsers. There are advantages of Microsoft using Chromium as their developers can help tweak and improve Chromium to better support Windows technologies.
Edge ‘Canary’ and Edge ‘Developer’, both based on the Chromium engine are now available to Insiders. Whereas Canary is bleeding-edge, the Developer version is updated less frequently. A Beta version should be available soon
Upon starting the new Edge, it appears to be a cross between the existing Windows 10 Edge and Chrome. You’ll be asked to import your existing browser favourites (from Chrome or Edge) and synchronisation is handled via your Microsoft account. Right now, only favourites are synchronised, but later your extensions, browsing history and more will be kept in check between browsers.
Do not plan on using either Edge ‘Developer’ or ‘Canary’ as your main browser. It’s far from the finished article. It lacks support for many extensions, includes no theme options and the dark mode (which looks fantastic) can only be turned on by using a special developer-only flag. The new Edge will sit alongside the existing Windows Edge. It’s not a direct replacement, yet.
The Chromium Edge only supports Windows 10, but Windows 7, 8 and even a Mac version is due when the browser is finally launched later this year.