Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
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Microsoft confirms plan to rebuild Edge browser using Chromium on Windows 10

Microsoft confirms plan to rebuild Edge browser using Chromium on Windows 10

Microsoft explains that they plan on switching Edge to a Chromium-based engine in order to provide better web site compatibility, a standardized platform for building and testing web sites, and better app compatibility for the enterprise.

"People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices", said Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president for Windows, in a blog post. 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 Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence: Whether you're on Windows 7, 8, or 10, Microsoft wants Edge to run (and run well) on your system. Even though Edge was the most standards compliant browser Microsoft ever shipped, that still was not enough for a ideal web experience on every site.

The company had already made contributions to Chromium, such as improvements for touch-based scrolling (which used to be awful), accessibility, and compatibility with ARM devices on Windows.

It's sad that the web has evolved into this, and although you can't really compare the world of IE6 to today, there are similarities there that can't be forgotten, but for Microsoft and its users, this is a good move, and we look forward to seeing how the project evolves. In addition, Microsoft says it will update Edge more frequently. Microsoft Edge won't die but it will be moved from its own platform to Chromium to become a Chromium-based browser. And launching Edge on other Windows versions and on the Mac will open it up to a whole new crowd. It's also an acknowledgement that Chrome is basically the standard in browsers now, a position Microsoft hasn't held in a long time.

The basic idea behind this new version of the tech giant Microsoft's Windows, which is named as Windows Lite is to offer a much lighter and smaller alternative to Windows 10. Right now, on desktops Edge is limited to Windows 10, which is on around half of all Windows PCs.

Edge itself has struggled to gain much of a following despite Microsoft's attempt to push it as the default in Windows 10.

Belfiore points out this isn't Microsoft's first foray into open source browsers. The new variant, codenamed Anaheim, will be rebuilt on the Chromium platform and use the Blink rendering engine and V8 JavaScript engine. There's also a possibility that Edge could come to macOS someday.

What is not clear is what sort of timescale Microsoft is working to, and when Edge users can expect to see any changes.

Belfiore also suggested that the change represents less of a revolution and more of an evolution for Edge.

All of which brings us to Microsoft's announcement that it plans to use Chromium to improve Edge. That's Microsoft's new motto when it comes to browsers. Here's everything we know so far.

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