Confirmed: Microsoft Will Move to Chromium-Based Edge Browser

Joanna Estrada
December 7, 2018

Earlier this week it was rumored that Microsoft might be replacing EdgeHTML with the Chromium rendering engine.

Despite being the built-in browser on Windows 10, which is installed on around 700 million active devices, Edge owns just a tiny fraction of the desktop browsing market.

It's official: Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser with Google's open-source Chromium platform, moving away from its proprietary EdgeHTML engine.

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

It will take some time for Microsoft to rebuild its Edge browser on Windows 10, and Belfiore didn't announce when the new Chromium-based version will ship to all Windows 10 users. Previously, new versions of Edge were only deployed with Windows updates, leading to serious fragmentation.

VentureBeat has asked Google and Mozilla, the non-profit behind the Firefox browser, what they thought of the announcement. Would you give the new Edge a try?

Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence. What this means is that Microsoft has to invest heavily in upgrading its engine while also dealing with whatever issues Chrome introduces as many devs only build websites that render using that engine and fail to check to see if other browsers render correctly.

Belfiore points out this isn't Microsoft's first foray into open source browsers.

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.

Due to their lack of momentum since the release of Windows 10, the company is announcing a significant change today, they are building a new browser that is based on Chromium.

This implies that the browser will be updated independently and will no longer be tied to major Windows system updates. Right now, on desktops Edge is limited to Windows 10, which is on around half of all Windows PCs. There is also a possibility that Microsoft Edge will be launched for Mac OS X or other platforms in the future.

Will Microsoft's decision make it harder for Firefox to prosper? "By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google".

This is a massive shift for Edge and Windows 10, and one that's going to divide fans and developers for months to come. However, once the new version of Edge is ready, I think most people will be happy with this change. It means web pages will render better, Edge will be updated with new features and changes much faster, and Microsoft can bring Edge to the other half of Windows users. That's Microsoft's new motto when it comes to browsers. What are your thoughts on the news? We'll know more in early 2019 when a preview build of the new Edge will be available for insider testing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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