Microsoft never appears to be completely happy with their web browser. Despite having far more powerful alternatives, users paranoid about the dangers lurking around the internet would insist on using Internet Explorer.

When Edge was first launched, in a rather basic form, with limited extension support, we used to receive complaints from people who'd bought a security suite and wanted a refund as their new security wouldn't support Edge (overlooking this was an issue with Edge, not their security). This is the trust placed by end users in Microsoft and their development.

With the above in mind, and the need to be able to produce a solid, competitive and secure web browser, Microsoft has decided to stop trying to build their own from scratch and move to a Chromium framework, which is the engine that powers Google Chrome and other browsers.

Edge 'Release Candidate' is the close-to-release version of this new browser aimed at insiders who want to get their first look at what's coming soon. And it really is a first look. Download Edge and, although it looks similar to the current Windows 10 Edge, with a Chrome-powered framework, there's still work to be done.

Unlike Chrome, Microsoft has deployed their own account system which will eventually synchronise your data including favourites, extensions, themes and browsing history. Right now, only your favourites are synchronised.

What's instantly noticeable is a lack of support for existing Chrome themes and extensions. No dark mode support either, so you'll be using a bright white user-interface, which is a shock to the system after using a recent Chrome.

Edge will install and work alongside the current version installed with Windows 10.

Verdict

Download and use with caution. Do not use Edge 'Release Candidate' as your daily browser, but useful if you want to keep an eye on what's coming soon.