Microsoft's newest internet browser is fast and finally does the things that makes Google's Chrome so popular - here's how to get it

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Microsoft released on Wednesday its new Edge web browser that lets users install extensions from the Google Chrome web store.

In this and some other key ways, the new Edge browser is essentially Google's Chrome with a Microsoft skin.

Apart from running Chrome extensions, the new Edge browser still shares a look and feel that's similar to Google's Chrome. That isn't surprising considering it's based on Chromium, the open source software upon which Chrome is also built.

The new Chromium-based Edge will replace the original version of browser in a future Windows 10 update, Microsoft said in a blog post. But you can download Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge here and now and install it like you would any other app. It's available for both Windows 10 and macOS, as well as Android and iOS.

Microsoft would surely like to lure people back from browsers like Chrome to its own Edge, but the new Chromium-based Edge browser could also be effective in keeping people in the Microsoft ecosystem instead of immediately downloading Chrome when they buy a new Windows 10 computer.

The original iteration of Edge ran on a proprietary Microsoft platform, and was intended to be a leap forward from the Internet Explorer era. However, it faced several issues, including poor performance on some websites and a lack of useful extensions from third-parties to add new features. Ultimately, it was hard to recommend over Chrome or other popular browsers like Mozilla Firefox.

With the new, Chromium-powered Edge, Microsoft is claiming better performance across the board. And now that Chrome extensions are also available, as well as syncing with your Google account, Chrome users may not feel the need to rush to Google's browser as quickly as before.

Once you've installed the new Edge, you can start linking your Google account. In my personal experience, the transition from Chrome to Edge was utterly seamless. The only major difference was that the default search engine was set to Microsoft's Bing, which I'm not ready to adopt. I went into the Edge settings and changed the default search engine to Google.

Installing Chrome extensions is easy, but not intuitive. Finding Chrome extensions the same way you would on that browser won't give you what you want.

Instead, you should specifically search for "Chrome web store" in the address bar to get your Chrome extensions. When you find the extensions you want, you'll see a notification prompting you to enable Chrome extensions on the new Edge. Click "Allow extensions from other stores," and you're set to go.

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