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Microsoft Releases Edge Browser Preview for Linux Systems

Microsoft this week announced the availability of the Microsoft Edge browser for Linux systems, which is currently available as a preview for participants in the Microsoft Edge Insider Program.

Microsoft had promised to deliver Edge for Linux during its September Ignite event. With this preview release, Microsoft now claims to have Edge browser support on "all major desktop and mobile platforms."

This release is a Dev Channel release version, which one step away from a "stable" Beta Channel release. The Insider Program also has Canary Channel releases, which are considered to be the least stable releases under Microsoft's browser testing program.

As a Dev Channel release, the Linux-based Edge browser will get weekly updates. The browser is not yet ready for production environments, as "you may experience bugs or unexpected behaviors." Microsoft is enlisting developer support for the Linux-based Edge browser, and paying for some of the fixes as part of its Microsoft Edge Bounty Program.

The Linux-based Edge browser preview is currently available for use with "Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE distributions," the announcement indicated. Insider Program participants can simply download the browser in either .DEB or .RPM format from the Insider Program's download page. If done using Microsoft's download page, it'll "configure your system to receive future automatic updates," the announcement explained. Alternatively, it's possible to use Microsoft's Linux Software Repository and install the Edge preview via a command-line interface.

Microsoft's motivations in creating Linux software products tend to be aimed at making things easier for developers. That trend appears to be the case with the new Linux-based Edge browser preview, as well.

For instance, the announcement characterized the Edge for Linux preview release as benefiting Linux Web developers primarily:

With our initial preview release, we're aiming to provide a representative experience for developers who want to build and test their sites and apps on Linux. Web platform and developer tools features, including core rendering behaviors, extensions, browser DevTools, and test automation features, should generally behave consistently with other platforms like macOS and Windows.

Some capabilities in the Linux-based Edge browser preview don't work yet. For instance, it doesn't work with a Microsoft account or an Azure Active Directory account. Those limitations also mean that the browser preview currently has issues with "syncing your settings, favorites, etc." Microsoft indicated. However, Microsoft is planning to add such capabilities in a future release.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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