From Windows 95 to Windows 8/8.1, Internet Explorer had been the default web browser of Windows operating system for two decades. Over the years, Microsoft Internet Explorer became bloated and insecure, making security conscious users look for third-party web browsers.
With Windows 10, Microsoft introduced Edge, a modern web browser built from scratch, and is the default web browser in Windows 10.
Microsoft Edge, the new browser from Microsoft, is part of Windows 10, and can’t be downloaded separately from Store.
Like Google Chrome and Firefox, the Edge browser is fast and loads pages much faster compared to Internet Explorer. Besides that, it offers a clean interface which most users love. The browser recently got support for extensions, and there are a couple of good extensions already available for the new web browser from Microsoft.
Is Microsoft Edge available for Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1?
When Microsoft introduced Edge browser for the first time, a significant number of PC users running Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 were expecting Microsoft release Edge for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 as well.
The truth is that the current version of Edge browser is not available for Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. However, Microsoft is building a new Chromium-based Edge browser, and it will be available for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. We will update this guide when the new Edge is made available to Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1.
Is there is a workaround to install Edge on Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1?
One can’t install Edge on Windows 7 as the Edge browser is built on the new Universal Windows Platform. The Universal Windows Platform was first introduced with Windows 8 as the Windows Runtime. So theoretically it should be possible to install Edge on Windows 8/8.1, but then Edge is not officially or unofficially available for Windows 8 or 8.1 right now.
That said, there is a not so cool way out there to run Edge on Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. You can run Edge on previous versions of Windows using free virtual machines. Visit this page of Microsoft to download Microsoft Edge virtual machine for VirtualBox, Windows Hyper-V, Vagrant, VMware (Windows & Mac), and Parallels (Mac only).
The download page also contains a link to installation instructions page so that you can easily install the downloaded Edge virtual machine on your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 PC using above mentioned virtual machine software.
As said earlier, you cannot install the current version of Edge on Windows 7 or 8, but the upcoming Edge based on Chromium browser can be installed on Windows 7/8. We will update the article once it’s available for the public.
Can I make my web browser look like Edge?
If you love the clean user interface of Edge and use Mozilla Firefox as the default browser, then you can make Mozilla Firefox look like Edge by installing the Edge for Firefox theme.
Sadly, the Edge theme is currently available for Firefox only. So, if you are a user of Internet Explorer, Chrome, or any web browser, you have no option but to upgrade your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 to Windows 10 to get Edge.
What’s the best way to experience Edge?
The easiest and best way to experience Edge is to upgrade your PC to Windows 10 or get a new PC pre-installed with Windows 10.
Note that Windows 10 is no longer officially available as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users but most users who upgrade to Windows 10 are getting free upgrade even today (December 2016).