Microsoft Confirms It Will Adopt Chromium for Microsoft Edge

Gerald Bowen
December 7, 2018

In the early days of web browsing, Microsoft embraced proprietary standards, and it was particularly hard for some business professionals to leave IE behind because so much of what they did was built for IE. "Belfiore wrote that Microsoft "[expected] this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS", though no specific timeline has yet been offered for when that may happen.

'Today we're announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers, ' Microsoft said. By moving to the open-source engine of Chromium, they can contribute to the platform used by several browsers (and reap the benefits from other contributors) while also having more resources to invest in making its browser have unique differentiators when compared to Chrome. While the engine will change, Microsoft has stated that they will continue utilizing the Microsoft Edge name and will now bring the browser to all supported Windows platforms. Even more interesting, Microsoft plans on making this new version of Edge available for all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Right now, Edge's set of browser extensions is limited, leaving users no compelling reason to switch from Chrome, which is powered by the open-source Chromium.

If you're the type who likes to get eyes on beta versions of software before it hits the masses, there's also an Insider Program for the Edge browser. There's also a possibility that Edge could come to macOS someday.

Developers will have the option of trying out the new Edge starting in early 2019 when Microsoft releases a first preview of the updated browser.

Microsoft is revitalizing its commitment to Edge with this move, as it wants the world to take its web browser seriously.

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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".

That means that a new engine is needed, and according to reports it sounds like Google's Chromium will pick up the slack. Would you give the new Edge a try?

There's still lots that Microsoft needs to work out with the new version of Edge, and I'm sure we'll be hearing about those plans in the near future. The company was trying to constantly update its rendering engine while also trying to add new features to the browser; resources were spread thin.

Microsoft plans to begin this transition to Chromium next year, and the change should be invisible for users. The difference is that instead of only improving its own browser, Microsoft's contribution to the platform could help improve Chromium-based browsers everywhere.

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