Release candidate of Chromium-based Microsoft Edge available to download now -- full launch coming January 15

New Microsoft Edge logo 2019

Over the weekend we wrote about Microsoft revealing a new logo for the Chromium-based version of Edge; now there is bigger news.

Today, after various beta builds, the company is launching the release candidate of the new Microsoft Edge for both Windows and macOS. It has also revealed that the date for general availability is January 15.

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The version of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge that launches today is close to final code, so what you see now should be pretty much what we see in a couple of months' time. While not officially labeled as being "stable", this build should be solid enough to be used as a daily browser without issue.

In announcing the availability of the release candidate, Microsoft also takes the opportunity to show off the transformation of the old logo into the new:

In a blog post, Microsoft says: "The release candidate of the new Microsoft Edge for Windows and macOS can be downloaded right now with general availability targeting Jan. 15 in more than 90 languages. Microsoft Edge runs on the same Chromium web engine as Google’s Chrome browser, offering you best in class web compatibility and performance".

The company highlights new features of the browser:

A new tracking prevention default in Microsoft Edge. We believe you should know who has access to your data and have the control to choose what you share. Microsoft Edge starts with tracking prevention on by default, so you don’t have to take any actions to immediately start having a more private browsing experience. With SmartScreen and Tracking prevention, we help protect you from phishing schemes, malicious software and new types of malware like cryptojacking. Microsoft Edge and Bing also now offer new InPrivate mode across your entire web experience so your online searches and browsing are not attributed to you, offering you more control over your personal data.

And:

New features such as Collections can be enabled as part of the Microsoft Edge preview builds, that let you more easily collect web content, organize your research and export that content into Word and Excel so that you can use the power of those applications to analyze information and collaborate.

Microsoft is pushing this new version of Edge as being ideal for "IT Professionals", citing three new capabilities as proof:

  • The expansion of the MicrosoftFastTrack deployment program to deploy the new Microsoft Edge in Q1 2020.
  • The expansion of the App Assure program to cover Microsoft Edge in Q1 2020. If your site works in Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, or the current version of Microsoft Edge, then it just works in the new version of Microsoft Edge. And if it doesn’t work, we’ll help you fix it at no additional cost. We’re the only company that can make that guarantee.
  • A new security baseline for the new Microsoft Edge. Security baselines are pre-configured groups of security settings and default values that are recommended by the relevant security teams. Microsoft Edge has its first security baseline now in preview, making it fast and easy for IT professionals to have a recommended starting point for security and compliance policies. These announcements build on top of a comprehensive Microsoft approach to control and security on Microsoft Edge, which utilizes core security architecture that IT professionals are already using and are familiar with.

The release candidate of Microsoft Edge based on the Chromium engine is available to download here.

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