… or at least that’s what Microsoft says, days ahead of Inspire 2019 partner conference, though the Beta channel is not open yet, at least not for the public.
Ready for Enterprise testing? What does it mean?
The rumors were confirmed in December 2018, then, in April this year, the new Chromium based Edge browser from Microsoft was made available for enthusiast and developer testing. With the initial browser tests only available on Windows 10, Microsoft made it clear from the beginning it still needed to add certain features and functionalities before targeting the IT Pro audience through a beta channel.
Well, it seems we’ve reached that point, and now Microsoft says its Chromium based Edge browser has most of the features needed for business use. However, at least to this day, July 12, the Beta Channel has yet to become available.
Among the new features, Microsoft mentioned IE mode, the integrated Internet Explorer tab (initially announced this May, at Build 2019, but only available a few days ago) , MDM and group policies, Application Guard and PDF support. More important, Microsoft announced the Edge Chromium documentation for businesses is also available, with deployment and configuration instructions. The company expects businesses and enterprises to start testing soon.
What if Edge Chromium won’t be a hit in Enterprise?
With security and privacy as the main concerns for businesses, Microsoft can’t make any mistake here. There are key points related to Edge Chromium such as deployment, security and management which must be very convenient and easy to adopt by the IT departments, while being secure and consistent.
And – as naive as it may sound – the end user experience is the other important key to Microsoft’s new Edge browser’s success. If the end user (regardless if he/she is a business or a regular user) is not confortable with the user interface and with the user experience, and if the browser fails to render websites properly, Chrome will dominate the browser market even more than it does today.
Microsoft can’t afford event considering this option, and they are (as they should be) hard at work on improving the new browser, based on customer feedback. However, if they’ll fail again to listen properly, just like they did with the Windows 10 based Edge browser (remember ‘Spartan’?), then this very good start – because the new Edge really looks and works very well so far – will be wasted.
How can we test drive the new Edge browser?
Except for the Beta channel, which, once open, is expected to be updated every six weeks, everyone interested (myself included) can test the new Edge via the Canary channel, which is updated daily, but these builds can’t be used for work as they may be unstable or quirky, or through the Dev Channel, which is updated weekly and provides more stable builds.