Microsoft begins pushing the 'new' Microsoft Edge browser to all Windows 10 PCs

While the new Chromium-based Edge is superior to the older version, it's still a one-way street.

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Microsoft has begun rolling out the “new” Microsoft Edge to Windows 10 PCs, as part of its planned replacement strategy outlined earlier this year.

Microsoft began updating PCs to the new Edge in January. It began with PCs still running the April 2018 Update, also known as version 1803. Now, the new Microsoft Edge is being made available to the Windows 10 versions after 1803, up through the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, aka version 2004. 

(Microsoft’s “new” Edge is now just officially Microsoft Edge, and the older Edge is referred to as “legacy” Edge. We really like Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser, though it has inexplicably lagged in certain areas, such as saving the user’s history to the cloud. Right now, it’s my full-time browser.)

According to Techdows, the new Microsoft Edge is being pushed out via Windows Updates KB4541301, KB4541302, and KB4559309. (Microsoft specifically lists KB4559309 as the “Update for the new Microsoft Edge for Windows 10, version 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, and 2004.”)

It’s a one-way street, however. Once installed, there’s no way to “roll back” to the legacy Edge. The new Edge will import your favorites, passwords, and other existing data from the old Edge to the new Edge.

As we indicated in our review, setting up Edge is pretty simple. Users are asked whether they want to set up a new tab view in a “focused,” “inspirational,” or “informational” view. Microsoft has its own curated list of Edge-compatible extensions. Because the new Edge is based upon Chromium, the open-source underpinnings of Google’s own Chrome browser, you can also use the extensions available for Chrome. 

A generation ago, Microsoft's Internet Explorer dominated the browser industry. Microsoft Edge, in contrast, has never been more than a bit player: StatCounter puts the “legacy” Edge browser share at just over 2 percent. If Edge is installed on every Windows 10 PC worldwide, its numbers could spike. It will depend on how many people decide to try it, rather than stick with the browser they already have.

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