Microsoft announces major changes to the default browser in Windows 10 today. Redmond confirms a report earlier this week that it replaces the EdgeHTML browser with Chromium on Microsoft Edge.
Chromium is an open source browser that runs Google Chrome, as well as some other smaller browsers. The development of Chrom is primarily led by Google engineers, as well as other open source contributors.
During the next year, Microsoft plans to move Edge to a "Chromium-compliant" platform on Windows 10. The company plans to be a major contributor to the Chromium project and says engineers have already started working on better ARM- support. It also plans to contribute to Chromium to improve Chrome-based browsers, including Edge, to work better on Windows 10 hardware. Part of it includes introducing enhanced touch support and web accessibility.
The move to Chromium will allow Microsoft to deliver frequent updates to Edge on Windows 10, even though it is older versions of the operating system, which has not been possible in the past. The company says that this will allow Edge to bring other versions of Windows, like 7 and 8.1, and other platforms like MacOS in the near future.
Redmond says that the changes to Microsoft Edge will all be "under the hood" and that users should not see a major change in the browser itself. The company hopes the move to Chromium will help make the web much more consistent for users and web developers. Since developers no longer have to test their websites and web apps separately for EdgeHTML, the network also becomes less fragmented, making it easier to test and more consistent experience for everyone.
Microsoft hopes to release an early preview of the new Microsoft Edge sometime in early 2019. Nevertheless, the details of all of this are quite limited at the moment and it is likely that Microsoft was effectively forced to disclose its public plans after the big leak from earlier this week.
The move to Chromium will surely be great for Edge as a browser. As EdgeHTML manages the web platform in UWP apps, the switch can be quite complicated. But if you, like me, have hated the stability of Edge in the past, this can be a welcome change. Or not. It all depends on how Microsoft implements Chromium and how fast everything happens.
Tagged with ARM, Chromium, EdgeHTML, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Windows 10