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Microsoft’s new Edge browser is now available for the Surface Pro X

February 07, 2020 / Sujata Bondge

  • Three weeks after releasing the first version of its new open-source-based Edge browser, Microsoft is back with a new release.

  • It has released a new update for browser bringing it to version 80 on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

  • The new update greatly improves web performance on ARM-based Windows devices.

Microsoft is releasing a new stable version of Edge Chromium browser. Version 80 is the first major update to the stable channel, featuring native ARM64 support. It's only been about three weeks since Microsoft made its Chromium-based Edge browser generally available, even though many people still haven't seen the update on their machines. Still, you can get it if you want it. The reason you can receive it because the browser is getting its first major update in the stable channel, bringing it to Edge 80. The new update is making a huge impact on improving the Surface Pro X. Future Edge versions should be more in line with the every-six-weeks-or-so Chromium release schedule.

Most notably, the browser now natively supports ARM64 PCs, such as the Surface Pro X, Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS, Samsung Galaxy Book2, and so on. Previously, if you tried to install it on those PCs, you'd get the 32-bit Intel version, which ran in emulation. This caused some performance issues, and those issues could be significant depending on the device you're using.

“ Switching tabs, rendering web content, and scrolling speeds are all greatly improved with Edge 80 for the Surface Pro X. It’s truly transformative, and Microsoft’s implementation of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) makes the Pro X the world’s most extravagant Chromebook. ”

With this stable channel release, Edge version 81 moves up to the Beta channel, where early adopters can begin testing features slated to be part of that release. The Dev channel, which offers new builds weekly, moves to version 82, as does the Canary channel, which delivers new builds daily to developers and those who can tolerate browsing on the bleeding edge. Here are some rules to take control of the Microsoft edge browser.

You'll find download links for each of the three pre-release channels at the Microsoft Edge Insider site; for a list of features coming in each channel. You can get updates on what's new here.

Learn more: Microsoft offers tools to block Chromium-edge from silently downloading to Windows 10 PCs

Network administrators on corporate networks who aren't ready to replace the legacy version of Edge can download a Blocker Toolkit to disable automatic delivery of the new version.

For those who have an understandable trepidation about installing pre-release software, it's worth noting that the Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary channels are all completely separate from one another. You can install any or all of them side by side on a Windows PC or Mac and switch between releases without fear of breaking anything.

“ If you did install the 32-bit Intel browser and you're on an ARM64 machine, you'll automatically be moved to the native version. There's no additional work required. And surely, Edge 80 is available in the stable channel for everyone now. It includes Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and even macOS. ”

To check updates, existing users can manually check it by opening the menu (Alt + F) > Settings > About Microsoft Edge. This will help them install the latest update. The browser has been redesigned from scratch, so you'll find it works less like the legacy Microsoft Edge and more like Google's Chrome and other browsers. It's got tracking protection built-in, Picture in Picture video, 4K video support for streaming websites, and lots more.

Learn more: Microsoft ProX surface review