Sci-tech

Google and Mozilla reacts to Chrome-powered Edge announcement

Google and Mozilla reacts to Chrome-powered Edge announcement

The company is going to adopt the Chromium open source browser internals and replace the guts of its Edge browser with them.

Microsoft announced this engineering change December 6. As we highlighted in our original post, this will be great for everyone who builds browsers based on Chromium, because as Microsoft innovates and builds on this platform, progress will be shared.

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. "Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors", a Google spokesperson said. Microsoft's mobile browser has been based on open source software since it launched a year ago.

The Register asked Microsoft what this shift means for ChakraCore, its Edge JavaScript engine which the company has been trying to integrate with Node.js via its Node-ChakraCore project as an alternative to Google's V8 JavaScript engine.

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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. "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", Microsoft added. While Edge will continue to ship with Windows 10, Microsoft finally will be updating it independently of the operating systems on which it runs, meaning it will be updated and patched more frequently than Edge is now. Consumers, on the other hand, will experience "improved compatibility" with all websites when using Edge, Belfiore said. Users don't need to do anything to prepare for the coming change. Once Edge is updated, hopefully they will only notice that sites and apps they visit using Edge will work better and faster.

In a slightly cheeky tweet Sean Lyndersay, principal lead program manager for Microsoft Edge, pointed out that his team needs new developers for the browser.

Microsoft today confirmed the recent rumors that they are rebuilding their Edge web-browser atop the Chromium browser engine.

Microsoft officials haven't said when they expect the new Edge to roll out to the mainstream, but it won't be anytime very soon, based on this schedule. Further, this app will not be in the Microsoft Store and will be serviced outside of that platform. I hear the answer is no. By switching Edge to Chromium, Microsoft can leverage some of that popularity and jump ahead of the queue instead of being in a constant battle with web developers and changing goalposts. There's a reason Microsoft didn't opt to go with UWP, and it's because Microsoft is prioritizing bringing Edge to other platforms over making it exclusive to Windows 10.