While the previously leaked screenshots made Edge look very similar to Chrome, Microsoft is adding its own touches and animations to make it look and feel like a Windows browser.
…Most of the user interface of the browser is a mix of Chrome and Edge, and Microsoft has clearly tried to add its own little touches here and there. There’s a read aloud accessibility option, and it simply reads the page out loud like it does in existing versions of Edge. Some features that you’d expect from Edge are missing, though. Microsoft hasn’t implemented its set aside tabs feature just yet, and write on the web with a stylus isn’t available. A dark mode is only available via a testing flag right now.
One end result of the project is that Edge will use the same open-source rendering engine that is found in Google’s Chrome Browser. Given Microsoft’s focus on software and services, switching to the same rendering engine as the vast majority of the market makes sense from a commercial and a compatibility point of view.
Using the same rendering engine means less testing is required (although that is dependant on how fast the older engine can be replaced on users’ own hardware) which will reduce costs – a reduction that will more noticeable over time. It also reduces development costs as major new features can be targeted at Chromium powered only, helping the update cycle, but also targeting users who live inside Google’s own Chrome browser.
That should leave more resources available to develop better commercial offerings, rather than testing and ensuring compatibility over a number of browser rendering engines.
Practically users should not see any difference in the browser. It will still be Edge, it will still have the same look and feel, but it will have better compatibility and the ability to run Chrome-based extensions.
There’s no word when a release version of the Chromium-powered Edge browser will be available, either as a limited beta or a fully available public download, although the shadowy corners of the internet allegedly have copies.