What are Controlled Feature Roll-outs in Microsoft Edge

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Microsoft has revealed how they are going to roll out new features gradually to Chromium-based Microsoft Edge users. This will allow the company to test new features with randomly selected small groups of users.

Microsoft is currently using three channels to deliver updates to Edge Insiders. The Canary channel receives updates daily (except Saturday and Sunday), the Dev channel is getting updates weekly, and the Beta channel is updated every 6 weeks.

In addition to this scheme, Microsoft introduces Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR). It is a procedure used to roll out new features to small randomly selected groups of users so that they can be tested. Based on the feedback and reliability reports from these user groups, Microsoft will expand CFR groups to include more users.

Every time we run a controlled feature rollout, we will randomly select a percentage of the Canary and Dev channels to get the treatment, and an equally sized group to remain in the control group. A set of guardrail metrics, including performance, reliability, browser usage, and feedback reports, are measured for each group. Statistical tests to compare the metrics between treatment and control allow us to estimate the impact of each individual change. This also requires that we not tamper with the audience selection to the degree that it would influence behaviors or participation. As a result, we will generally announce new features available in dev at the conclusion of the controlled feature rollout.

Users who can't wait for a new feature will be able to turn it on with a flag using the internal edge://flags page of the browser. See this example. The only problem is that you need to look for new flags constantly.

The browser installs updates automatically. Also, you can manually check for updates by visiting the menu Help > About Microsoft Edge. Finally, you can grab the Edge installer from the following page:

Download Microsoft Edge Preview

At the moment of this writing, the latest Microsoft Edge Chromium versions are as follows.

I have covered many Edge tricks and features in the following post:

Hands-on with the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge

Also, see the following updates.



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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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