Microsoft's Edge Browser to Adopt Google's Chromium Engine

Posted December 10, 2018

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.

Confirming the rumors that it's rebuilding its Edge browser on Chromium, Microsoft Corp. today shed some light on the big-picture plan behind the move.

We recognize the value of competition and intend to bring-to-life our best vision for a Microsoft Edge browser that builds on Chromium open source via differentiated user experience features and connected services.

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The one thing that remains unclear is whether this means that the new Microsoft browser for Windows 10 will keep the Edge UI on top.

The code for Google Chromium, the platform behind the popular Chrome browser, will be used to make Microsoft's browser more stable and compatible with different operating systems - including Apple's Mac OS - the Seattle firm hopes. According to the Mozilla chief: "If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium". The slightly less dramatic news has now gone official: Edge will be improved through open source collaboration and the core of this initiative will be adopting the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop. If users ran into an issue, they would just move to Chrome even if they had given Edge a chance. Its immediate priorities include porting Chromium to ARM-based Windows PCs, among other projects. The company has famously removed a Chrome installer from the Microsoft Store and continuously provided pop-ups and blockers to try and sway users from ever installing Chrome on their Windows 10 machine. One of them is that Microsoft plans to continue its ChakraCore JavaScript engine in the Microsoft Edge browser. Those apps use open source code because EdgeHTML doesn't work on Android and it's not even allowed on iOS.

Following Microsoft's announcement yesterday, Mozilla penned a farewell post to EdgeHTML, largely lamenting the state of the browser market, Chromium's continued dominance, and what it could mean for the web as a whole.

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The use of chrome as the default rendering engine for Windows 10 ends Microsoft's hostility to Chrome. Beyond that, Edge will be coming to MacOS for the first time. Belfiore says a preview build for developers will start rolling out in early 2019.

Plus, they announced that they will be working on the OSS Project of Chromium to make the web a better experience for everyone. All in, this is great news for anyone who struggled with Edge and the fact that websites and web apps simply didn't play well with it from the beginning.

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