Regardless of your position in Microsoft's announcement this week that it's moving the Edge browser to the Chrome engine in 2019, there's one thing for sure: it's touched a little controversy. But without feedback on both sides of the problem from fans and developers, industry giants also talk.
Following Microsoft's announcement yesterday, Mozilla wrote a retreat to EdgeHTML, complaining about the status of the browser market, Chromium's continued dominance, and what it could mean for the network as a whole.
"Microsoft officially publishes on an independent shared platform for the Internet," writes Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla. "By adopting Chrom, Microsoft transfers control over even more online life to Google."
Like Beard notes, the engines that run browsers are largely invisible to the users, but they keep pace with what is possible online and which web developers prioritize. From Beard:
They determine core characteristics as what content we as consumers can see, how secure we are when we look at content, and how much control we have about which sites and services can be made for us. Microsoft's decision gives Google a better opportunity to determine what opportunities are available to each of us.
From a social, civil and individual empowerment perspective, it is terrible to control the control of basic online infrastructure for a single company.
Finally, with only Firefox Gecko Quantum and Chrom as the two remaining browsers from major industry players, Mozilla worries about the impact on competition and choice and hooks back to Microsoft's far-away monopoly with Internet Explorer.
If a product like Chromium has enough market share, it will make it easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and websites work with other than Chromium. That's what happened when Microsoft had monopoly on browsers in the early 2000s before Firefox was released. And that can happen again.