Microsoft has started rolling out the new Chromium-based Edge browser as part of the new Windows 10 update, replacing the existing Edge browser. The new Chromium Edge browser is included in the Windows 10 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, and 2004 versions as it becomes a core component of the Windows 10 operating system.
The updated browser rollout isn’t without its fair share of controversy. Twitter user Taran Quarantino kicked off the Twitter thread where he highlights how once the new update is installed, users are held hostage for a moment. Rebooting your Windows 10 PC brings up a full-screen prompt to set up the Chromium Edge browser, with no way to close the splash screen. Users must start the setup process, before being given the option to exit. For those who choose to set it up, you can sign in with your Microsoft ID and also import settings and data from other browsers. Additional issues pointed out in the Twitter thread include the fact that an icon for the new browser is pinned to the taskbar, added to the desktop and being greeted with a prompt asking if you’d like to set the new Edge browser as default when you open a web link. Unfortunately, the ruckus over these last two points seems more like a toddler tantrum than anything else.
For starters, every time a user sets up a brand new Windows 10 PC via a full re-install of the OS or even a factory restore, icons for the Edge browser has always been present in the taskbar and the desktop. Removing them, if they are oh so intrusive, is as simple as a right-click, followed by choosing “delete” or "unpin from taskbar." Microsoft had already announced that they would be replacing the current version of Edge with the new Chromium-based build as a part of the Windows 10 default suite of apps, so the noise over the matter feels a little unwarranted. The Chrome icon can be found on the desktop and docks of Chromebooks while the Safari icon is prominently placed on macOS and iOS. This is standard practice and singling Microsoft for doing so is just plain wrong.
The forced splash screen, however, feels wrong on many levels, and this isn’t the first time Microsoft has held users hostage. At some point, Microsoft removed the visible option to set up Windows with a non-Microsoft account. The only way to setup Windows without signing into your Microsoft ID is by making sure you’re not connected to the internet. However, during the Windows setup process, connecting to a network is presented to users as one of the first things to do, and unwittingly, most of us oblige. Once done, the option for setting up an offline account is removed. Microsoft has also increasingly been forcing Microsoft ID linkage across various Windows 10 components, even if a user doesn’t want to do so. For example, if you decide to set up an offline account, there is no way for you to download anything from the Microsoft Store without signing in. Once you sign in, the information is applied system-wide or limited to Microsoft Apps only, an option that is laid out in the disguise of a hyperlink. There is no option to limit the login information to the store only, and therein lies the problem.
Regardless of the steps taken by Microsoft to push its browser upon the Windows 10 user-base, the browser does feature significantly improved security and features to go head to head with Google Chrome. Users of Microsoft’s new browser also report lesser RAM usage in comparison to Google Chrome, something that would be very appealing to users running on systems with 8GB or less RAM. For those interested in test-driving the browser, you don't have to update run Windows Update if you're worried about potential issues. The new browser can be downloaded from Microsoft's website.
|Release Date:||03 Oct 2019|