Microsoft: the first release of the Edge browser and more
- Dato: 07 February, 2020
We take a quick look at some of the key Microsoft related developments in recent weeks including the release of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser, the first Office app for Linux and a preview of Office 365’s Fluid Framework.
First to the news that Microsoft has announced the first release of its new Edge browser. This is based on the open source Chromium Project’s engine which is also central to Google's Chrome browser. It is compatible with macOS, iOS and Android, as well as Windows 10, 8.0/8.1 and 7, and is claimed to be twice as fast as the one it replaces.
The promised features include a range of privacy tools such as ‘tracking prevention’ which is now enabled by default on Edge and blocks many types of trackers on the web, as well as 4K streaming support, optimisation for Windows 10 and support for Chrome extensions that can be accessed from either the Microsoft Store or Chrome Web Store.
The new browser will be pushed automatically to Windows 10 users in the coming weeks, whilst other users will be able to download it manually. Microsoft has also confirmed that it will automatically inherit the legacy Edge browser’s favourites, passwords, form fill information and basic settings.
Elsewhere we have seen Microsoft Teams become the first Office app for Linux via a public preview, making it the first time an Office 365 application has been brought to the open source operating system.
Teams is the company’s Office 365 chat-based collaboration tool and has earned the accolade as its fastest-growing business app ever, with more than 20 million daily active users since its launch in 2017.
Microsoft already offers Teams for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and the Web. However, a native Linux client has been one of the most requested Teams features on Microsoft’s User Voice forum.
A company spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft is committed to supporting mixed environments across its cloud and productivity offerings, going on to say that extending the Teams experience to Linux users is “…an exciting opportunity for developers who have built apps for Teams to be able to grow their reach to this new set of users.”
There’s also a further interesting Office-related development with news of a public preview version of the Fluid Framework which is aimed at Office 365 users.
Fluid Framework is a new technology for Microsoft 365 that is designed to provide seamless and barrier-free collaboration between apps.
The framework takes form of both a user experience and a software development kit for use by developers and focuses upon three key functions, namely:
- Simultaneous co-authoring for multiple users of web and document content.
- A component-based document model that allows authors to break content down into individual building blocks, use them across applications and combine them into a new, more flexible kind of document.
- The provision of space and interfaces for intelligent agents to work alongside humans in order to carry out a variety of tasks such as translating text, fetching content, suggesting edits and performing compliance checks.
Microsoft has indicated that the first functions of the Fluid Framework will be used in chats in Microsoft Teams, mails in Outlook, SharePoint team sites, OneNote notes or Office documents.