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Microsoft to soon replace Edge on Windows 10 with a Chromium-powered web browser

Dec 4, 2018, 7:30 am

Last month as reported Microsoft was helping Google bring Chrome to Windows 10 on ARM computers. It was an attempt by Microsoft to bring their Visual Studio Code editor natively to these computers, as it’s built on Electron which requires Chrome.

Recently as sources report, Microsoft is in the early stages of a project, codenamed “Anaheim”, that is currently slated to replace Microsoft Edge for Windows 10. Instead of continuing to use the company’s EdgeHTML engine, Anaheim will reportedly be built upon Chrome’s open source Blink engine.

Microsoft hoped that Edge would help it regain market share in the browser market that it lost to Google and the Chrome browser for the most part. The company integrated Edge as the main browser and Internet Explorer for backward compatibility in Windows 10. It did not port Edge to previous versions of Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.

Chromium is the open source part of Google Chrome; it is a popular choice among browser developers, Vivaldi and Opera use it as the base for their browsers. Microsoft is already using Chromium for their Edge for Android browser, and moving to Chromium would save resources and should mean Microsoft will be able to support extensions written for Chrome.

The bigger issue would be the shell of the browser, however. EdgeHTML already offers a smoother experience on Windows 10 than Chrome, but suffers from extreme immaturity, offering fewer options for most users that even Internet Explorer, meaning any serious user will be using Chrome sooner rather than later.

Google Chrome dominates the market already and with Microsoft dropping its own EdgeHTML engine in favor of Chromium; Chromium’s position would even be more dominating than it already is. The new browser could make an appearance on platforms that it is not available on yet: Linux, Mac OS X, and maybe even on older versions of Windows.

The new Edge browser is available for Android and iOS already, and it uses the native rendering engine on these platforms which means that Microsoft could continue to work on that version.

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