According to a story by Windows Central, Microsoft is working on a Chromium based web browser. This will likely be a replacement to their current web browser on Windows 10, Microsoft Edge.
Edge never took off the Edge
Microsoft Edge was launched in 2015 built from scratch with EdgeHTML. Microsoft tried to get it into adoption by making Windows 10 update free for a limited time. However, the browser was not well received at the early stage itself due to a large number of issues. Since then it has not been very stable driving developers and users away from it.
Due to this, Microsoft is reportedly abandoning Edge and the EdgeHTML framework for Chromium. Chromium is a rendering engine used in Google Chrome. The new browser’s name is codenamed Anaheim and will be replacing Edge as the default browser in Windows. It is not known if Edge will be renamed and if the UI will be different. But EdgeHTML will no longer be used in Windows 10’s default browser.
Using the Chromium engine instead
Using Chromium means that the websites on Windows 10 default browser will load as they do on Google Chrome. Default browser users will no longer have to face the loading and connectivity issues that plagued EdgeHTML based Microsoft Edge. For smartphones, nothing will change much as Edge on smartphones already use platform specific engines.
Recently, 9to5Google reported that Microsoft engineers are committing code to the Chromium project. This would suggest that they are working on their own browser by using Chromium instead of EdgeHTML. The browser may likely be out next year.
A comment on hacker news reads: “You[web developers] don’t test your work in Edge and because you tell all your friends and family to use Chrome instead of Edge. So stop complaining about monoculture. Many of you helped create it.”
Some sarcasm thrown in another comment: “I test my app in Edge, every time a new version is released. When it inevitably fails, I shake my head in disbelief that Microsoft still hasn’t paid a dev to spend a couple months fixing their IndexedDB implementation, which has been incomplete since the IE days. Can’t expect a small rag-tag group like Microsoft to compete with a rich corporate behemoth like Mozilla, I guess 🙂”
Another comment says: “How can I test Edge when Microsoft don’t release it for Mac and Linux? A browser for a single OS? Talk about monoculture.”
Good lord, my team ported Chrome to Windows Phone in 2008/2009 and I nearly got fired for that. Can I please get my performance reviews rectified, with compound interest please!https://t.co/crxP4HMFAd
— Erik Meijer (@headinthebox) December 4, 2018
Another Tweet suggests that this move towards Chromium is about ElectronJS stronghold over app development and not about Microsoft wanting a Chrome like browser experience on its default browser:
This isn’t about Chrome. This is about ElectronJS. Microsoft thinks EdgeHTML cannot get to drop-in feature-parity with Chromium to replace it in Electron apps, whose duplication is becoming a significant performance drain. They want to single-instance Electron with their own fork https://t.co/HfAGxvLKb7
— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) December 4, 2018
After years of Internet Explorer being ridiculed and Edge not being the success they hoped for, it would be nice to see the Windows default browser catching up with the likes of Chrome and Firefox.