It will ditch its own EdgeHTML and begin the process of rebuilding the internet browser on Chromium, an open-source web rendering engine created by Google and used to power the Google Chrome browser. Edge isn’t being shut down, and the name will stay the same. Microsoft said any existing users won’t notice a difference in the web browser – other than websites rendering more consistently.
The current Microsoft Edge browser has been criticised since launch. It was designed to be fast and secure, but it has struggled to represent websites at their best and still remains less intuitive than Chrome is to this day, which is the larger problem for Microsoft here. Google Chrome and its Chromium web rendering engine have continually eaten into a sizable portion of the market share.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, developers are more commonly using the Google-based web engine, as it’s much better about integrating new web technologies. Coupled with the dissatisfaction of consumers, this has created an untenable situation for Microsoft that needed to be addressed.
If you’re the type of person who has only used Microsoft’s Edge browser to download Google Chrome when you first get a new PC, then this is good news for you. Chromium is a collaborative build that not only Google but Apple as well uses to flesh out their own browsers.
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore mentioned the new potential for Edge in a blog post, saying: “We intend to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge – but other browsers as well – better on both PCs and other devices.
As part of the switch, Edge will become available for all versions of Windows. Previously, it was only available for Windows 10 users and iOS and Android users. Microsoft announced that it will make a new version of the browser that will function on Mac OS machines as well.