Edge, Microsoft’s replacement for its often-criticized Internet Explorer was first released in 2015. But last year, the company rebuilt the browser from the ground up, this time with Google’s open source Chromium framework rather than its proprietary EdgeHTML engine. It’s been available to users since January, but Microsoft only hosted it as a manual download, and it lacked some important features. Now, a complete version of the refreshed Edge is available as part of Windows Update, making it easier for everyday users to experience the new features and optimized performance.
Having a shared codebase with Chrome, Edge is now more similar to Google’s browser — compatibility with websites is improved, as is performance. (Some users report that Edge is actually less resource-intensive than Chrome.) It also can now run extensions, which are hosted on the Microsoft Store. When installing the browser via Microsoft Update, Windows will automatically migrate settings, bookmarks and other features, which should help to make the upgrade a smooth process.
Being part of Microsoft Update could put the improved Edge in the hands of many more users. Microsoft has a decent usage share with its browser, and this move may give it a boost. That said, Edge still has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with Chrome.