Microsoft Edge is the Internet Explorer replacement that’s supposed to become a more powerful rival to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but until now, it’s no secret that the Windows 10 browser really had a hard time getting closer to competitors.
Partly to blame for this reason is the slow update cadence of the browser, as Microsoft rolled out improvements to Edge through Windows Update every time a new Windows 10 update was ready for users - as is the case of the Anniversary Update that brought support for extensions.
Using the Windows Update mechanism, however, wasn’t necessarily part of Microsoft’s plans, as the firm initially promised to deliver Edge improvements through the Windows Store.
So what changed? Fred Pullen, who is a member of the Edge browser team at Microsoft, explained at Ignite that the software giant is aiming to switch to updates to the Windows Store in the near future, but added that some parts of the browser would continue to receive updates through Windows Update.
The browser engine, for instance, needs to be updated in the old way because it’s also powering other apps installed on the system, so Microsoft needs to make sure that updates do not break down features of Windows 10. The Windows Store update system, however, will be used for new features and improvements to the browser, with Microsoft aiming to deliver them at a pace that matches the one of Google Chrome.
This is clearly an optimistic goal, but could in the end make Edge browser a better alternative to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. And while updates could indeed be shipped faster, it all comes down to the development team, who needs to concentrate on implementing feedback from users much more quickly than before. Extensions, for example, needed one year to be ready, so new features clearly need to be developed faster than that.
There’s no date for when the new update system could come into place, but given that Redstone 2 is due in spring 2017, this looks like the perfect moment to make such an important change.