December 10, 2018

Confirmed: Microsoft Will Move to Chromium-Based Edge Browser

08 December 2018, 12:25 | Megan Pierce

Microsoft Guts Edge, Adds Chromium to Save Failing Browser

The end of the browser wars: Microsoft to switch toapp based on same technology as Google's Chrome

Whether the move will convince many Windows 7 and 8.1 users to switch to Edge remains to be seen; my initial guess is that some will try Edge when it first comes out but won't probably switch to it unless it offers something spectacular that other Chromium-based browsers don't offer.

We'd heard rumors that Microsoft was getting ready to rebuild its Edge web browser recently, and now it's all official after the company announced that Edge would be refactored to run on Google's Chromium. The rendering engine Microsoft has worked for years to flawless is getting the boot, and the company will spend the next year building a new version of Edge (the name stays) that will run on Apple's macOS as well as older versions of Windows.

Microsoft framed its decision to use Chromium as Edge's rendering engine as the latest example of its commitment to supporting open source projects.

In response to the news, Google said: "Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors".

One of those audiences may be macOS users, who despite not clamoring for Edge should have access to Microsoft's browser at some point: Belfiore said the company expects to bring Edge to other platforms like macOS. What's even more interesting is the fact that the new version of Edge will also be coming to the Mac.

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Belfiore also promised that IT departments will see better Web app compatibility on Windows systems. On Android, the Edge browser uses Blink, a rendering engine from the Chromium project. But that hasn't stopped many Windows 10 users from installing Chrome, Firefox, or other alternative browsers so they won't have to use this era's Internet Explorer. Consumers, on the other hand, will experience "improved compatibility" with all websites when using Edge, Belfiore said. Perhaps. And, while Microsoft could make noticeable gains with this move, it looks like Google - and the Chromium project - will be the biggest winners here. As developers will no longer have to test their websites and web apps separately for EdgeHTML, the web will also become less fragmented, allowing for easier testing and more of a consistent experience for everyone. And cross your toes in hopes that we don't someday have only one choice for web browser tech - not that that'd ever happen, right?

Mozilla says that Microsoft is "officially giving up" on an independent shared platform for the internet.

While Google is understandably happy about the change, the CEO of Mozilla, Chris Beard, says it is bad for competition and will help to make Google even more powerful.

"Google's dominance across search, advertising, smartphones, and data capture creates a vastly tilted playing field that works against the rest of us", he added. The current schedule is for a release sometime in 2019, but don't start holding your breath for a public launch just yet.

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