Microsoft has revealed more of the new features headed to its revamped version of the Microsoft Edge browser.
The new browser differs from Windows 10’s existing Edge browser, in that the new release is based on the same underlying code as Google’s Chrome browser.
Microsoft used the Build 2019 Developer Conference in Seattle today to detail some of the new features it’s working on for the browser.
The most notable addition is new privacy controls. Users will be able to choose between ‘Unrestricted’, ‘Balanced’ and ‘Strict’ settings, which Microsoft says will allow users to limit “how third-parties track you across the web”.
The extent to which these new controls will limit the ability of companies to track users remains to be seen, given the failure of past options such as ‘Do not track’ and the multi-faceted approach tracking companies adopt to fingerprint users’ browsers and systems.
In what should be a useful feature for businesses whose internal sites and web apps still require Microsoft’s legacy Internet Explorer browser, the new Edge will also include IE Mode, which integrates Internet Explorer directly into a tab.
Another new feature is called Collections, which Microsoft says will allow users to collect, organize, share and export content they find online more efficiently and that will also be integrated with Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has revealed that the new version of Edge will have substantial customizations to the underlying Chromium code base. It’s planning to replace or turn off more than 50 Chromium services — some Google-related, such as Google Now and Google Pay, others more generic, such as Spellcheck and speech input.
Other forthcoming features include 4K streaming of DRM-protected content like Netflix and single sign-on. These features and others will be added over time in the run up to the launch of the new version of Microsoft Edge.
SEE: Microsoft Build 2019: The biggest takeaways (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
In a hands-on with a preview version of the new Edge, TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet found the browser to be ‘surprisingly solid’ but, given its pre-release state, ‘far from feature-complete’.
Microsoft revealed it would be releasing a new version of the Edge browser in December 2018. The announcement followed the failure of the existing Edge browser to win over a significant proportion of users, despite the browser being bundled with Windows 10.
If you want to try out the new version of Microsoft Edge, you can download it now from the Edge Insider site.