Microsoft’s revamped Edge browser (based on Chromium) is officially inbound for Linux, although quite when it will arrive isn’t clear – and equally, quite what Linux fans will make of it is similarly opaque.
The long-rumored move was confirmed over at Microsoft’s Ignite conference, which is currently underway in Orlando, Florida, with a slide shown that listed Linux as one of the available platforms for Chromium-based Edge.
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Sadly no information was given on exactly how the implementation of the browser will work for Linux; all we know is that it’s inbound.
While the new Edge is set to be released on January 15 next year, no date was given for the Linux version, with the slide noting that it will be “available in the future”. So we don’t have any timeframe at all, but presumably it will be following at a later date after the main launch in mid-January.
As we’ve already noted, Edge coming for Linux is something which has been speculated about a lot in the past (we previously saw a slide at Build), particularly as Microsoft indicated from the get-go that it wanted to cover all platforms.
That includes other versions of Windows aside from Windows 10, macOS, plus mobile – iOS and Android – with Linux being the final major piece of the platform puzzle.
Breaker of chains
One other thing to consider is that the introduction of Edge to Linux is something of a thorny subject in that the folks who choose a Linux distro often do so to break away from the chains of Microsoft and Windows (or indeed Apple).
So certainly some of the more fervent open source types out there may not welcome a Microsoft browser with open arms, and doubtless it will be regarded with suspicion in some quarters. No matter how much Microsoft has been banging the open source drum in many different ways in recent times.
That said, there will doubtless be Linux users who are curious, and may want to pick up a mainstream alternative to Firefox on Linux which, when compared to Chrome – with its famous memory hogging antics – makes a far preferable choice in some respects. Edge will also do streaming better (by default Chrome limits you to 720p when you’re trying to watch a spot of Netflix).
All the testing feedback about Edge has been pretty positive in the main thus far, too, so maybe that will persuade even doubters to at least consider it.
One thing’s for sure: it will certainly be interesting to see the reaction Microsoft’s browser gets when it is deployed to Linux.
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