Microsoft Confirms Edge Browser is Moving to Chromium

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2018 - 10:02 AM |
Tagged: windows, open source, microsoft, Joe Belfiore, edge, chromium, browser

It's official: Microsoft is indeed moving their Edge browser to Chromium as previously reported. Windows VP Joe Belfiore made the announcement yesterday with a blog post entitled "Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration".

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The post begins as follows (emphasis added):

"For the past few years, Microsoft has meaningfully increased participation in the open source software (OSS) community, becoming one of the world’s largest supporters of OSS projects. 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.

As part of this, we intend to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge — but other browsers as well — better on both PCs and other devices."

Not an immediate move, the under-the-hood changes to the Microsoft Edge browser will take place "over the next year or so", with the transition described as happening "gradually over time". From Microsoft:

1. We will move to a Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop. Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers. This will deliver improved compatibility for everyone and create a simpler test-matrix for web developers.

2. Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence. We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS. Improving the web-platform experience for both end users and developers requires that the web platform and the browser be consistently available to as many devices as possible. To accomplish this, we will evolve the browser code more broadly, so that our distribution model offers an updated Microsoft Edge experience + platform across all supported versions of Windows, while still maintaining the benefits of the browser’s close integration with Windows.

3. We will contribute web platform enhancements to make Chromium-based browsers better on Windows devices. Our philosophy of greater participation in Chromium open source will embrace contribution of beneficial new tech, consistent with some of the work we described above. We recognize that making the web better on Windows is good for our customers, partners and our business – and we intend to actively contribute to that end.

The full blog post from Belfiore is available here.

Source: Microsoft

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December 7, 2018 | 11:00 AM - Posted by collie

I'm hopeful they can make this work.
Edge is and has been the CLEARLY superior browser since it was introduced, and it still is, HOWEVER, I, like most people it seems, have chrome on every device and it links from one to the next...

IF MS can, and it's a big if, make a superior PC-Chrome that integrates and syncs perfectly with all the other Chrome we would have a winning dominant browser.

'Cource they are probably going to fuck it up, because computers, but who knows, right?

December 7, 2018 | 11:47 AM - Posted by Luthair

Its never been a better browser. Its slower, it has incompatibilities, context menus used to take several seconds to open, etc.

December 7, 2018 | 12:09 PM - Posted by NonCPUbasedProcessorIP (not verified)

I'm reading that Windows 7 and 8.1 may also be getting the option of installing Edge/Chromium-based and most likely that may not arrive for windows 7 before it goes EOL.

There will be some customers running Windows 7 until 2023 as MS is already announced that Enterprise/Volume Licensees can purchase extended security updates for windows 7 until 2023.

I have one laptop that came with a Windows 8 Pro License and was factory downgraded to Windows 7 Pro. So that laptop is getting 8/8.1 installed once windows 7 goes EOL. So that laptop running Windows 8.1 will be getting Edge/Chromium-based while the older laptops will be getting some Linux based destro.

I'm not sure how the Firewall/Virus protetion software Browser Based plugins will work for any Edge/Chromium-based Browser on older MS OSs. So I'll wait at least 6 months after Edge/Chromium-based becomes avalable on older MS OSs before I'll give it a try.

MS's lack of QA/QC has me very concerned regarding any Browser Based code refactoring on a large scale such as what will occur with converting Edge to a Chromium based engine.

December 7, 2018 | 09:23 PM - Posted by AnonymousUser (not verified)

Crap. Edge browser is the only browser I use on my tablet because it's the only one that performs decently and doesn't drain the battery (compared to Firefox and Chrome at least). I hope MS's contribution to the chromium project includes the sweet gpu accelerations Edge had that made it so efficient.

a lot of people I told this to think I'm crazy (I couldn't believe it myself at first) but if you have a windows-based laptop or tablet, you can compare yourself: have some long youtube playlist running on all 3 browsers and see how long the battery lasts. On my tablet it's like 2hr vs 6hrs.

December 8, 2018 | 07:56 AM - Posted by Drazen (not verified)

You are 100000% right!
Edge is crap but performance wise (zoom, scroll) and power consumption wise it is far superior. I use it on my Win10 tablet.

December 8, 2018 | 04:54 AM - Posted by NYf6C6u (not verified)

Can't wait for them to announce that Windows is ditching the NT kernel in favour of Linux.

December 8, 2018 | 08:00 AM - Posted by Drazen (not verified)

Well, already they ditched some UI and replaced it with typing (MS forces usage of searching).
Give them time, incompetence, bugs and Win10 3xxx will have command prompt only

December 9, 2018 | 06:38 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

They're already sniffing at the gate, though I can't see it being prevalent any time soon.


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