Microsoft confirms that Edge will switch to Chromium - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft confirms that Edge will switch to Chromium

Microsoft confirmed today that the company's Microsoft Edge web browser will "move to a Chromium-compatible web platform" on the desktop.

Rumors emerged last week that Microsoft was done with developing and maintaining its own rendering engine and that the company would either move Edge to a Chromium-based core or create a new browser based on that.

Today's article on the Windows Experience blog confirms the rumor. Microsoft Edge won't die but it will be moved from its own platform to Chromium to become a Chromium-based browser.

Google Chrome is the dominating Chromium-based browser but there are others such as Vivaldi or Opera.

microsoft edge

Interesting from the perspective of a Windows user is that the new Edge won't be Windows 10 exclusive anymore. Microsoft plans to release Microsoft Edge, the new version that is based on Chromium, for all supported versions of Windows. There is also a possibility that Microsoft Edge will be launched for Mac OS X or other platforms in the future.

Edge will be updated more frequently; that means, likely, that Microsoft won't include Microsoft Edge updates with updates for the Windows operating system anymore.

Microsoft Edge will evolve according to Microsoft.

[..] we will evolve the browser code more broadly, so that our distribution model offers an updated Microsoft Edge experience + platform across all supported versions of Windows, while still maintaining the benefits of the browser’s close integration with Windows.

Microsoft plans to contribute to the Chromium project to improve the platform further. Edge users will benefit from improved compatibility when using the web browser.

Microsoft invites developers to join Microsoft Edge Insider to test preview builds of the new Edge when they become available.

Just visit the Microsoft Edge Insider website and sign up there to receive information about upcoming builds. Microsoft expects to have a first preview build ready in early 2019; this suggests that Microsoft started work on migrating Edge to the new code-base for some time already.

Closing Words

I never understood why Edge was not available for other supported Windows versions; it felt like a huge oversight on Microsoft's part. The moving to a Chromium-base changes that and that is a good thing. Whether the move will convince many Windows 7 and 8.1 users to switch to Edge remains to be seen; my initial guess is that some will try Edge when it first comes out but won't probably switch to it unless it offers something spectacular that other Chromium-based browsers don't offer.

Lots of questions remain unanswered: will there be feature changes? what about Edge's interface and design?

Microsoft has some things to sort out as well. Universal Windows Platform uses EdgeHTML and the team needs to find a way to move all of that to Chromium as well.

Now You: What is your take on the development? Would you give the new Edge a try? (via Deskmodder)

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Microsoft confirms that Edge will switch to Chromium
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Microsoft confirms that Edge will switch to Chromium
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Microsoft confirmed today that the company's Microsoft Edge web browser will "move to a Chromium-compatible web platform" on the desktop.
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Comments

  1. John Fenderson said on December 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm
    Reply

    Heh, my extreme skepticism about this rumor was wildly misplaced!

    1. dark said on December 7, 2018 at 4:22 pm
      Reply

      News sometime in the future:

      Rumors emerged last week that Microsoft was done with developing and maintaining its own OS and that the company would either move Windows to a Linux-based core or create a new Linux distro based on Arch or Debian with Windows as a Desktop Environment.

      1. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm
        Reply

        @dark:

        That could happen, but Microsoft would absolutely have to do so in a way that doesn’t break binary compatibility with existing Windows apps. The lock-in of existing applications is one of the main things that keeps people from dropping Windows. If people have to replace their applications to use a “new Windows”, then a lot of them will leave the Windows ecosystem entirely, and I don’t think Microsoft can afford that.

  2. Tom said on December 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm
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    Shoulda based on Firefox instead. Now we’re heading for (or already are in) a Google mono-culture as far as web technology is concerned. This is bad because whatever Chromium chooses to implement, the other 20 percent of the browser market will be forced to adopt it as well, even if it represents a threat to user privacy and freedom.

    1. bwat47 said on December 6, 2018 at 10:00 pm
      Reply

      Chromium is much more ’embeddable’ than gecko is (gecko is tied tightly to firefox), so it’s a lot easier to build your own browser on top of Chromium than it is to do so on top of gecko.

      Mozilla has been looking to improve this with projects like Servo and Geckoview, but as it stands right now there’s a good reason that no one other than Mozilla uses gecko to build a browser

    2. Sidney Ferreira de Moraes Neto said on December 6, 2018 at 10:07 pm
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      Chromium is open source, so if they implement something and some company don’t like it, it can be removed I think.

    3. foolishgrunt said on December 6, 2018 at 10:17 pm
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      While I agree that I don’t like furthering the Google monoculture, I don’t think that basing on Firefox would have been any better from Microsoft’s perspective. One of the issues was that web developers have largely stopped testing their work on anything but Chrome (or Safari for mobile), so basing on a browser with even smaller market share would certainly not have solved that.

      That said, I will remain a Firefox user even more stubbornly now. I’m hoping for great things down the road from Servo and Quantum. And Mozilla’s decision to go with the WebExtension route (aiming for Chromium-compatibility) may turn out to save their bacon in the long run.

    4. Anonymous said on December 6, 2018 at 11:03 pm
      Reply

      What makes you think Microsoft ever cared about user privacy and freedom? All they care about is convincing people to use their spyware and not Google’s. Dear Windows user, ok Edge wasn’t the best browser for Windows 10, we lied, ok Chrome is better. Please don’t install or use Chrome, we give you Chrome with our spyware.

    5. Anonymous said on December 7, 2018 at 4:27 am
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      Why using Chromium as base is threat to user privacy? Chromium is not Chrome

      1. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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        @Anonymous:

        True, Chromium is not Chrome, but pretty much anything from Google can’t be trusted by default. Perhaps Chromium is OK, but I’m not comfortable assuming so, and I haven’t done a security audit of it, so anything based on Chromium is a no-go for me.

    6. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm
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      @Tom: “Shoulda based on Firefox instead”

      I dunno. If Microsoft is going to pee in a pool, I’d rather they do it in Chromium’s than Firefox’s.

  3. Tom Hawack said on December 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm
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    “Microsoft Edge web browser will “move to a Chromium-compatible web platform” on the desktop.”

    “[..] we [Microsoft) will evolve the browser code more broadly […]

    I’m sure Microsoft will optimize the code for its very own advantage, as always.

    Should I ever run Windows 10 there are a few rules I’d never trespass : no Microsoft account, no Microsoft browser, in fact the very strict minimum to allow the OS to breathe.

  4. Anonymous said on December 6, 2018 at 10:51 pm
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    Soooo, here it comes, Chrome with Microsoft spyware instead of Google spyware.

  5. ShintoPlasm said on December 6, 2018 at 11:35 pm
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    Developers, developers, developers, developers, developerrrrrrrs! Nah, no need for developers, who needs those… Microsoft is proud to present: Bledge.

  6. Weilan said on December 6, 2018 at 11:36 pm
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    Currently Edge for Android is really good, not that I’m praising it. I should put it another way. Edge for Android is the least shitty browser for Android. It has built-in Adblock Plus and its only drawback is it has no popup blocker, but other than that it’s better at blocking ads than any other browser. All the others like Brave that boast that they block ads and trackers fail on some websites, but not Edge.

    I could switch to it if it provides something that Chrome does not.

    1. Bobo said on December 7, 2018 at 7:27 am
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      Opera Mini.

    2. Balluboy@yahoo.com said on December 7, 2018 at 10:39 am
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      Try standard Opera. On Windows even with VPN and ad blocker ‘ON’ I have found it to be the fastest. On Android it blocks all ads

    3. Tamris said on December 7, 2018 at 11:32 am
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      Try Brave.

    4. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm
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      @Weilan:

      Does it phone home? If so, then it doesn’t matter how good it is.

  7. NotAnonymous said on December 7, 2018 at 1:13 am
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    When Edge becomes Chromium-based, I’ll just uninstall it, since it won’t be integrated into the OS anymore.

    I’ve used Edge when something didn’t open in my privacy-tweaked/security-tweaked Firefox and Chrome, as a fall-back option for web compatibility.

    I already have Chrome as a backup browser, so why keep Chromium-based Edge?

    If Microsoft is giving up on Edge, then it should just sell Bing as well, IMO (and totally capitulate to Google).

    AWS wiil always dominate Azure, so I think Microsoft is making a mistake.

    Microsoft is making the same mistake as HP competing against IBM (and IBM is annihilating HP in the enterprise market).

    Throwing all your eggs into one basket is asking for trouble. Just ask Radio Shack (which became a cell phone kiosk to chase short-term profits and maximize their CEO’s bonuses) … oh wait, you can’t … they’re bankrupt .

    A company like Microsoft will never go completely belly up, but they can become the next Compaq.

    1. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 5:15 pm
      Reply

      @NotAnonymous: “it won’t be integrated into the OS anymore.”

      I guarantee that it will, at least to the same degree that Edge is. Microsoft has effectively said as much when they mentioned that they’re planning on modifying Chromium so that it works better with Windows than other operating systems.

      1. NotAnonymous said on December 7, 2018 at 10:04 pm
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        You’re inferring alot from one sentence.

        That’s not proof at all. AND your guarantee is worth squat.

        Currently, you can turn off Internet Explorer, why not Edge when it becomes Chromium?

        Anyway, I’ll disable everything related to Chromium Edge in Group Policy to effectively cripple it (just like I crippled Cortana).

        I’ve already stopped Edge from preloading via Group Policy.

        The bottom line is Chromium based Edge is less than useless.

      2. AnorKnee Merce said on December 8, 2018 at 10:50 am
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        @ NotAnonymous

        Integrated means you cannot uninstall the New-Edge browser from Win 10, not just disable it.

  8. Stan said on December 7, 2018 at 1:27 am
    Reply

    I’ve got the chills !!!!!!!!!

  9. Darren said on December 7, 2018 at 3:38 am
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    “I never understood why Edge was not available for other supported Windows versions; it felt like a huge oversight on Microsoft’s part.”

    Their crappy unfinished browser was supposed to be another carrot to convince us to join the Win10 train. All it ended up doing was help make it even more irrelevant.

    They could make a great browser that people would switch to if they let the folks who are behind Visual Studio Code project loose on it. Now that’s software done right.

  10. ULBoom said on December 7, 2018 at 3:58 am
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    Edge is part of the OS, you can disable it but portions of it still do stuff. Chromium is very embeddable, too; this will be interesting. MS can’t get just the OS right, integrating chromium into it will certainly be another series of exploding updates, especially with the likely unremovable remnants of edge giving blue screens as they’re wrecked by metastasizing chromium.

    But chromium’s probably a far better browser based user data collector, so MS, on some days the biggest company in USA, can make more money selling ads now. They apparently have put all their effort into Azure with an eye toward cloud server domination and left Windows to the Code Wrecking Division, one that’s not very adept at stealing users’ souls or anything else.

    A pity so many young people talk like software commercials and think shopping means amazon or hole foods.

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on December 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm
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      [“MS can’t get just the OS right, integrating chromium into it will certainly be another series of EXPLODING updates, especially with the likely unremovable remnants of edge giving blue screens as they’re wrecked by metastasizing chromium.”]

      This.!

  11. Ray said on December 7, 2018 at 5:33 am
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    Surprisingly, I actually do not mind this.

    There have been other Chromium-based browsers like Opera and Vivaldi and they both have their place in the browser market, but I am interested to see what Microsoft will do.

    If they can bring the stability and battery-saving features of Edge to Chromium, I wouldn’t mind using Edge as a secondary browser.

  12. John G. said on December 7, 2018 at 6:38 am
    Reply

    Edge is useless at this moment. Chrome is the best browser for untrusted websites, while IE11 is by now the best one if Shockwave, Flash Player, Silverlight and Java website requirements are needed (with notorious success and no major issues if used on trusted sites and good security profile, of course). Opera Mini is a good solution to save bandwidth, while Firefox for mobile is unstable like a mad monkey, though my father loves it for online banking and for trusted online e-commerce. Firefox for untrusted websites is like the russian roulette with five bullets. 😒

    1. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 8:03 pm
      Reply

      @John G.: “Chrome is the best browser for untrusted websites”

      How do you figure, particularly since Chrome itself is not trustworthy?

  13. Bobo said on December 7, 2018 at 7:25 am
    Reply

    “unless it offers something spectacular” Oh it will, it will… There will be BING all over the place. There will be tight integration with all things office. There will be endless nags about a Microsoft account. There will be ads within the ads, and the whole UI will in fact be an ad. There will be unprecedented levels of telemetry. In their quest for world domination they will make the worst chromium-based browser for decades, aeons, to come. It will be hilariously bad and tragically comical, because Microsoft will deliriously again believe it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I can’t wait, it will be glorious. Let’s all join Microsoft and go over the edge together!

  14. Timi said on December 7, 2018 at 9:44 am
    Reply

    Actually that’s a good step(although I wonder why wouldn’t they use Firefox as a back end),Edge was to tightly integrated into Windows 10,and you could use it only on Windows 10,you couldn’t uninstall it you couldn’t port it over to other platforms,the android version is already based on chromium,to have a big usage share in the browser market you need to have it on every platform,times change,it’s not 2006 anymore,where everybody and their grandma’ uses Windows Xp,now everything is portable,everything is in sync and every website has to load fast and work best,so yeah I get why they change it(is even cheaper to just contribute code then to maintain Trident which no developer uses it). What I don’t get why is Microsoft always behind with “the times”,creating and killing projects left and right like Google does,no consistency what so ever,sheesh!

  15. ilev said on December 7, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Reply

    Edge will switch to Chromium and Windows 10 will switch to Linux.

    1. Anonymous said on December 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm
      Reply

      Correct, with lots of containerisation for backward compatibility. So, any Linux users up for using Edge?……….Tumbleweed. Won’t be long until they buy Canonical. Microsoft heart Linux (on Azure)!

      1. John Fenderson said on December 7, 2018 at 5:19 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous:

        “So, any Linux users up for using Edge?”

        I’m not comfortable with using other Chromium-based browsers from companies that I have a lot more respect for than Microsoft. There’s no chance at all that I’d use Edge.

  16. noemata said on December 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm
    Reply

    i now have my own “windows light” per strict and many windows – hardening settings achieved with a few apps (mentioned on the last ccleaner – article). + including the motto: never change a running system – especially windows.

    and will switch to linux in the near future. not only because of this insane “chromium – decision” i have been driven away (imho – it doesn’t matter if the well thought out surface stays or not – it was also about the cleaned out trident – fork edgeHTML). in the future (also still “ugly”) & overloaded chromium – code with windows to have interlocked, is something, on which i can renounce. and also, as already mentioned elsewhere: it’s generally enough (imho):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_(web_browser)#Other_browsers_based_on_Chromium

    they just gave up trying to draw the conclusions that edge – users have been demanding for years. i don’t find anything good about that at all.

    in addition, the last 2 days the barrel overflowed when the old intel microupdate KB4100347 was installed on my amd – system, although windows – updates were deactivated via ooshutup & windows services. after uninstalling the microupdate and restarting the system, it was actually reinstalled again. just:

    https://www.sordum.org/9470/windows-update-blocker-v1-1/

    which can also be found here in an older version of:

    https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/wumt_wrapper_script.html

    https://www.ghacks.net/2017/04/19/run-windows-update-on-windows-10-manually-only/

    finally gave me peace of mind that i can count on. it’s enough with google (almost completely finished), it’s enough with ms (is yet to come). all hard enough if you’re not techie (like me).

    ps: and why the hell is “peerblock” not developed any more, e.g. on github… .

  17. John said on December 7, 2018 at 12:38 pm
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    Technically this is a good thing for Edge to work with web sites tested on Chromium. But as for market share improvements I doubt this will help Edge with just a under the hood change to chromium. There are many Chrome clone’s out there including Opera who have not seen any popularity improvements. I do feel with Microsoft now committed to open source chromium that Mozilla’s Firefox will suffer even more from this.

  18. RedAndGold said on December 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm
    Reply

    “Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows”

    What do they mean about “supported versions of Windows”?

    If you look at the Windows Lifecycle fact sheet [1], both Windows 7 and 8.1 is out of the normal support, running in “Extended support”. And Windows 7 extended support runs out in 13 months.

    Will the new Edge come to Windows versions in extended support? And will it make it in time for Windows 7?

    Or do they just mean, that the Windows versions that Microsoft chooses to have Edge installed on, is the “supported versions”?

    [1] https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

  19. AnorKnee Merce said on December 7, 2018 at 5:01 pm
    Reply

    M$ gave up on Surface RT tablets.
    M$ gave up on Windows Media Center.
    M$ gave up on Win 10 Mobile.
    M$ giving up on M$ Store.
    M$ giving up on Internet Explorer.
    M$ gives up on Edge.

    What will M$ give up on next.? Win 10.?

    1. Anonymous said on December 8, 2018 at 2:27 am
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      “What will M$ give up on next.? Win 10”

      They are trying to give up on it (Win32). They want to replace it with it’s modular Windows Core OS (UWP). It works basically like Linux and OS X with a kernel and then modules and services that work on top of it. Theoretically it is an improvement but Microsoft will find some way to screw it up: spyware, subscription fees, bugs.

  20. Dave said on December 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm
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    Googlesoft, Microogle, Alexa, Siri, Hey google, privacy is so last century.

    As far as browsers go, the only real innovation I’ve seen in the last several years is Firefox Focus on my droid.You should try it.

    Even if only to really understand how much of your bandwidth is being eaten up by stuff you didn’t want to see and never asked for.

    I like Edge, for when I want to be tracked. Unusual activity can’t be noticed if usual activity isn’t known.

    I use forefox with a myriad of extensions and tweaks for when I don’t feel like giving away information others profit from with giving me a cut!

    Chrome can byteme. I stopped using that one long ago when they decided to take control over what extensions I was using away from me.

  21. Thorky said on December 8, 2018 at 8:28 am
    Reply

    You’re coming too late, Microsoft, I’m already using the Chromium-Browser SlimJet. 😁

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