On April 8th, we shipped the first Dev and Canary channel builds of the next version of Microsoft Edge, based on the Chromium open-source project. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Edge Insider Channels and their differences.
The new Microsoft Edge builds are available through preview channels, which we’re calling “Microsoft Edge Insider Channels.” The first two channels, Canary and Dev, are available to download and try at the Microsoft Edge Insider site. These channels are available on all supported versions of Windows 10, with more platforms coming soon.
The Canary channel will be updated daily, and the Dev channel will be updated weekly. You can also choose to install multiple channels side-by-side for testing, as they will have separate icons and names so you can easily tell them apart.
The Canary channel is truly the bleeding edge, so you may discover bugs before we’ve had a chance to discover and fix them. If you’re eager for the latest changes and don’t mind a bug or two, this is the channel for you.
If you prefer a build with slightly more testing, you might be interested in the Dev channel, which is the best build of the week from the Canary channel. We look at several sources, including user feedback, automated test results, performance metrics, and telemetry, to choose the right Canary build to promote to the Dev channel. We expect most users on Insider builds will be on the Dev channel.
We will soon be introducing the Beta and Stable channels. The Beta channel is a significantly more stable release and will be a good target for Enterprises and IT Pros who are interested in trying out the next version of Microsoft Edge.
We are not changing the existing version of Microsoft Edge installed on your devices at this time – it will continue to work side by side with the builds from any of the Microsoft Edge Insider Channels.
When we initially announced our decision to adopt Chromium as the foundation for future versions of Microsoft Edge, we published a set of open source principles and declared our intent to contribute to the Chromium project to make Microsoft Edge and other Chromium-based browsers better on PCs and other devices.
While we will continue to focus on delivering a world class browsing experience with Microsoft Edge’s user experience and connected services, when it comes to improving the web platform, our default position will be to contribute to the Chromium project.
Our early contributions include landing over 300 commits into the Chromium project since we joined this community in December.
We are committed to building a more accessible web platform for all users. Today, Microsoft Edge is the only browser to earn a perfect score on the HTML5Accessibility browser benchmark, and we’re hoping to bring those contributions to the Chromium project and improve web experiences for all users.
- Modern accessibility APIs – To enable a better accessibility experience for screen readers, like Windows Narrator, magnifiers, braille displays, and other accessibility tools, we’ve shared our intent to implement support for the Microsoft UI Automation interfaces, a more modern and secure Windows accessibility framework, in Chromium.
- High contrast – To ensure our customers have the best readability experience, we’re working in the W3C CSS working group to standardise the high-contrast CSS Media query and have shared our intent to implement it in Chromium. This will allow customers to use the Windows Ease of Access settings to select their preferred colour contrast settings to improve content readability on Windows devices.
- HTML video caption styling – We’ve partnered with Chromium engineers to land support for Windows Ease of Access settings to improve caption readability on Windows 10.
- Caret browsing – For customers who use their keyboard to navigate the web and select text, we’ve shared our intent to implement caret browsing in Chromium.
We’re starting to work with our Chromium counterparts to improve the accessibility of native web controls, like media and input controls. Over time we expect this work will help Chromium earn a perfect score on the HTML5Accessibility browser benchmark.
While we’re participating in the Chromium open source project, we still believe the evolution of the open web is best served though the standards communities, and the open web benefits from open debate from a wide variety of perspectives.
We are continuing to remain deeply engaged in standards discussions where the perspectives of vendors developing different browsers and the larger web community can be heard and considered. You can keep track of all Microsoft explainer documents on the Microsoft Edge Explainers GitHub.