Microsoft’s new Edge browser built on Chromium, the open source project Google Chrome is built upon, will feature an Internet Explorer mode, offer distinct privacy levels and attempt to assist with information overload. The features will launch alongside the next version of Edge, Microsoft announced here at its Build developer conference in Seattle today.
IE Mode will make Internet Explorer available in a tab in Edge, allowing users to run legacy apps and websites in the same browser as the rest of their work. It seems like a better solution than leaving Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or even the existing Edge to do so. Microsoft claimed that this will assist more than 60 percent of businesses using more than one browser for work tasks.
The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is teasing the macOS version. You could sign up for updates, so it sounds like Edge Insiders will be able to test that version soon, though no release date has been specified.
Additionally, the browser will have three privacy modes: Unrestricted, Balanced and Strict. Unrestricted is straightforward enough, allowing anything through. Strict will block all third-party trackers, while Balanced, the default setting, will only allow trackers from sites you've used before.
"The most important thing is to make sure that all the data is being trapped and collected on the web is being transparent to the end user and the end user is in control," CEO Satya Nadella said.
Lastly, Microsoft introduced a feature called Collections to help organize and share web content, including integrating it into existing Office projects. A demo during the keynote showed photos and text being copied into Collections, with Edge creating a document with citations in Microsoft Word afterwards. It also showed a side-by-side in Excel using camera reviews with ratings, buy links and prices comparisons.
Those who want to try these features early may see them before a wide launch as part of the Edge Insider program, though it’s not available on every platform yet.
Chromium is an open source browser not owned by Google. There are some key differences between Google Chrome and Chromium. First off, Google Chrome is a commercial closed source product made by Google which is based on the open source Chromium project.
"Chromium is Google's open-source web browser project."
It's clearly Google's browser. Just because they leave out some licensed plugins and the usual Google spyware doesn't make it an entirely different browser.
And somehow, Chrome (and in turn Chromium) manage to be bloated memory hogs, despite lacking much in terms of features or proper customization options. It's unfortunate that browser developers feel the need to abandon their browsers and replace them with Chromium reskins just to ensure compatibility with a mediocre browser that only became popular due to Google's web dominance. Chrome is more or less today what IE was over a decade ago. Perhaps it's more "secure" than that browser was then, but it's not exactly a great browser, at least for anyone who needs more than the most basic feature-set.