Microsoft Edge logo on Start menuSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • The new Microsoft Edge officially launches on January 15.
  • Launch platforms include Windows 7, 8, 10 and macOS.
  • This brings to an end months of beta testing to get Edge to a stable state.

Microsoft has today announced that the new, Chromium-based version of Edge will be launching officially on January 15, with a release candidate available today for those who want to test a stable version of the new Edge before general availability. The new Microsoft Edge started development late last year, and Microsoft says it's going to be the best web browser for consumers and businesses.

Microsoft Edge is now a cross-platform endeavor for the company, being available on Windows 7 through 10, as well as macOS, Android, and iOS. All of your passwords, history, privacy settings, and more sync and work seamlessly across all these different platforms if you use Microsoft Edge to surf the web. On the subject of surfing, Microsoft has also unveiled a new identity for Edge with a new logo that's heavily inspired by surfing the edge of a wave. It's a colorful, clean looking icon that shakes the stigma of old Edge and Internet Explorer entirely.

Now that a release candidate of Microsoft Edge is available, this gives us a good idea of the feature-set we can expect to see when Edge launches officially in January. New features like Collections make doing research for a project much easier. Collections lets you throw together a list of links, images, and webpages that can be searched and referred to later. There are also new privacy settings that make it harder for advertisements on the web to track you across websites, and a focus on web apps that lets you install them directly to your PC like a native app.

Business users will be happy to hear that the new Microsoft Edge also integrates with Microsoft Search, meaning the address bar along the top of the browser can also tap into their own internal network and index company files and folders as well.

While users of other browsers like Chrome and Opera will be happy with the new Edge, users of the old Edge may be upset to hear that many staple features of that browser, such as set tabs aside, Fluent Design, and inking onto webpages, are missing. Microsoft does say that developers and consumers can expect to hear more from Microsoft regarding the new Edge in the spring, so perhaps it'll be then where we see old and new features show up.