Microsoft could supplant Edge with a Chrome-based program

Microsoft could supplant Edge with a Chrome-based program

Microsoft could supplant Edge with a Chrome-based program

Now, after depending heavily on its own browsing engine technology, Microsoft will make Chromium, the open-source heart of Google's Chrome browser, a key part of Edge, essentially acknowledging that Google's technology has become dominant.

"Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers", said Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Windows. The company also says that it plans to become a "significant contributor" to the Chromium project.

Microsoft confirmed earlier rumors that it will be rebuilding Edge on the Chromium platform. All Microsoft said for a timetable was "in the next year or so" and noted that Edge on Chromium would be updated more frequently and would land for macOS.

"Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors".

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.

The company says these "under the hood" changes will take place gradually over the next year, and developed in the open, with a preview build for web developers ready in early 2019. It's a "decision for the long term", and Microsoft plans to support common new platform capabilities while also offering "differentiated user experience features and connected services" in its Edge browser.

Whether consumers will adopt the rebuilt Edge browser is another matter. It was recently revealed that the company has already started contributing code in an effort to make Chrome and other downstream browsers compatible with Arm-based Windows 10 devices.

While Microsoft and Google seem to be on the same page, it is still not known yet whether Google will create a Windows Store version of Chrome.

The shift to Chromium is part of a broader plan by Microsoft to make its browser more competitive.

At the time of publication, there is no timeframe for when Edge will launch on Macs, and Microsoft isn't launching a beta or anything like that anytime soon. "By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google", Chris Beard, wrote in a blog post.

One report previously suggested that the company would release a browser to replace Edge. "As for the impact on the Chromium ecosystem, we are yet to see how it will turn out, but we hope this will be a positive move for the future of the web".

Existing UWP apps (including PWAs in the Store) will continue to use EdgeHTML/Chakra without interruption.

Update 12/7: The Edge team posted a few new details in this announcement. In any case, Anaheim will likely be a big deal in Microsoft's broader roadmap for Windows 10, and it might finally help Microsoft capture a bigger share of the web browser market.

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