As Microsoft begins the long road to replacing its Edge browser in Windows 10 with a newer version powered by Chromium, developers are already being teased with the future benefits of its development for users.
Microsoft senior program manager for Edge, Kyle Alden, hopped on Reddit to share the news that the company's new Chromium-powered web browser will be available for testing as a separate download in early 2019 (via TechDows).
As of now, there is no solid timeframe to expect for the first non-Windows 10 attached download, but it might be safe to expect something around Microsoft's yearly developer conference, BUILD.
We’re working on getting preview builds out as soon as possible - “early 2019” is still the idea, but we want to make sure the first preview is a great experience, so we’re not quite ready to commit to something more specific than that just yet. Stay tuned!
In addition to the development of a standalone PC version of its Chromium web browser, Microsoft has also opened up a new Edge Insider program for developers that will serve as a testing bed of new API and features for upcoming builds of Windows.
Presumably, the Edge Insider program and this new Chromium-powered Edge separate download app will converge development-wise down the road.
Alden's comments piggyback on the discussion opened by the corporate vice president of Windows Joe Belfiore who dropped a post on the Windows blog detailing Microsoft's plans to move to the Chromium open source solution.
Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.
Similar to its efforts on Android and iOS, Microsoft plans to make testing and development as inclusive as possible allowing the process to buck traditional Windows OS packaging. The new development path allows for developers and users to test flights much faster and at less risk to their devices as it will no longer be tied to buggy Windows 10 installations nor will the pace of development be slowed by build release issues such as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update rollout.