[UPDATE: Microsoft has since announced that Edge Chromium will be released on January 15, 2020. ]
In a single icon change, decades of training are going down the can. You know the process: “Okay, dad, now click the blue “e” icon, go to the address bar—no, the long white bar—and type in firefox dot com.” Microsoft is finally changing its official Edge browser logo to go along with much bigger changes under the hood.
The iconic lower-case blue “e” has been around since Internet Explorer 3, release back in 1996. Microsoft is making huge changes to Edge and hopes a fresh icon can clear Microsoft’s tumultuous browser history.
The new Edge ditches the long-held assumption that Microsoft has to maintain a browser using its own tech. Instead, the new Edge uses Google’s open-source Chromium engine to make the built-in browser faster and safer to use.
It’s a big change
It’s a big departure from previous versions of the browser. Even the switch to Edge kept that ‘e’ logo. Much like the switch to Chromium, the logo change represents a big departure for the company. One Twiter user laid out the progression of Microsoft’s browser icons through the years to demonstrate how big of a change it is:
Really liked the new Microsoft Edge icon. Looks modern and stands out in the crowd. Here is the history of all the Microsoft browser icons from the last 20 years. pic.twitter.com/aZ3dnq9mbJ
— Parth Shah🤳 (@parth2eets) November 3, 2019
Other people have compared it to the Firefox logo, to Tide’s detergent pods, and more. The previous logo has a lot of bad history associated with it, starting with the anti-trust case against Microsoft and leading up through the long-held notion that Internet Explorer is simply the icon you click on to download Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. But Internet Explorer has become something of an albatross for Microsoft. Countless corporate applications and intranet sites are built upon old versions of IE. Further, countless Windows users who have never downloaded another browser know the icon.
Regardless of whether the switch to Chromium and to the ocean-inspired logo can help Microsoft shake off that bad history, the new Edge is going to be something to watch. Edge has been in beta since August, but Microsoft hasn’t yet talked about when we’ll see it go mainstream.