Edge Preview Channels
In the last year Microsoft’s flagship browser, Edge, has had a phenomenal market share growth of just over 1,300%. Some of the growth has to do with the retirement of Internet Explorer on June 15 this year and some has been the inclusion of the chromium platform it is now based on. But most of its growth is because of its continual addition of user-friendly features and the improvements made in security and performance.
Personally, I believe a big reason for its growth is the ability of everyday users to download and provide feedback on all four versions of Edge.
You do not have to be a Windows insider to download any of the Edge browsers. I always have all four running on my computer so I can see what new features are in the pipeline and I can provide positive or negative comments on those features. Several planned improvements have never made it to Edge because of the feedback provided by everyday users.
Edge Preview Builds
Besides Edge, which is usually the default browser on new machines, Microsoft offers three preview channels. The main difference between the channels is the frequency of release and the stability of the release.
Note: Not all users who are subscribed to a channel will receive them at the same time. You can download each of them at the Microsoft Edge InsiderChannels website.
Edge Canary usually provides cutting-edge improvements and updates are released daily. Because of that, it is also the most unstable of versions. Many of the new features displayed in the Canary versions might never see the light of day. It does give clues about possible additions in future versions.
Edge Dev is usually updated weekly and provides better stability for insiders to try new features. It is still prone to bugs, particularly with compatibility with lesser-known devices and operating systems like Linux.
Obviously, the preview channels above are not supported versions. Insiders are more than welcome to provide feedback and help correct bugs but also to recommend future features they would like to see implemented.
Edge Beta remains the safest option for any user who wants to test new features before they become fully available. If a feature has made it to Edge Beta, it is most likely to soon be part of a regular Edge release. The beta channel is updated at least every four weeks if not sooner.
Edge Stable, the basic version supplied with all Windows Operating Systems, was typically updated with major updates to the Windows operating system. However, it has moved to a more aggressive four-week update schedule probably reflective of the stability of the beta channel testers. Enterprise users, because of the more complex issues they may face will stay closer to an eight-week update.
If you are a cutting-edge gamer, subscribing to a preview channel might just be the way to experience improvements to HD and UHD displays for browser-based games. If you are unsure if you want to put your feet in the fast-flowing waters of the Canary Channel, you might do great in the calmer waters of the Beta channel.
Experiencing the different channels also give you a voice in future development. If you want a new feature you experienced in the Canary channel, you will need most insider voting for it to happen. Installation of any preview channel does not affect any other Edge build. You may install all four and switch as needed. I match the colors of the logos for my Edge background. I use Dark Grey for Stable, blue for Beta, green for Dev, and yellow for Canary. This helps me know which build I am currently viewing.
1 thought on “Microsoft’s Edge Preview Channels”
I am glad to see that they are acquiring some clout. I have used them since its inception and seldom had any problems and those usually were because of Idiot companies that demand that I use some other garbage and they refused to support EDGE. I dumped Amason Musid HD for that and won’t ever go back Any company that tries to FORCE you to use something you don’t want to, isn’t worth existing.