Testers have been able to get hands-on with the powerful browser thanks to the Alpha Skip-Ahead program. It offers a select group of players the chance to demo upcoming features and updates before they are rolled out to the entire Xbox community.
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According to The Verge, the new browser appears to be fairly promising. While the browser still doesn’t offer full keyboard and mouse support and is rather buggy in this test version, it does have some neat features.
the latest Xbox Alpha skip ahead build includes the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge pic.twitter.com/C34d59UYuJMarch 6, 2021
Improved compatibility with browser-based games and popular web services like Skype or Discord headline the update. However, most interestingly, Edge on Xbox will now allow access to Google’s Stadia in-browser streaming service, as well as the Amazon Luna cloud gaming platform.
How useful Google Stadia access will be is questionable given Google has ceased all first-party development of its cloud-based game streaming service. But it's an extra feature to further boost the appeal of the Xbox Series X.
In theory, the boosted version of Edge should also be compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming via the browser when it launches later this Spring. Of course, all Xbox consoles already have native access to Xbox Game Pass, so this feature might be a little redundant.
Edge powered by Chromium uses a similar sync engine as the current console version of the browser, which allows for extensions, vertical tabs, Collections, and the majority of features found on the desktop version of Edge. Edge Chromium also offers a much smoother and faster web experience in general.
When this new upgraded Microsoft Edge browser will be released for everyone is unclear. But seeing as it’s already being tested in Microsoft’s preview program we’d expect a full launch relatively soon.