Microsoft will officially rebuild Edge as a Chromium-based browser

Microsoft will officially rebuild Edge as a Chromium-based browser

And the Chromium project will be far more robust with a team of Microsoft engineers working on it.

The new app, which will also be called Edge, will also allow Microsoft to make a browser for Apple's MacOS.

Microsoft on Thursday said it intends to use the open-source Chromium browser engine in the desktop version of its Edge browser, promising the two per cent of global internet users who favor Edge an improved web experience.

'Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors, ' it said. The rendering engine Microsoft has worked for years to flawless is getting the boot, and the company will spend the next year building a new version of Edge (the name stays) that will run on Apple's macOS as well as older versions of Windows. It's unclear if many Mac users will make a move from Safari to Edge, but options are always welcome in any case.

Microsoft Edge is getting a major overhaul to help it work smoother and compete better, but the heavy work will occur under the hood.

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If you're the type who likes to get eyes on beta versions of software before it hits the masses, there's also an Insider Program for the Edge browser. In addition to developing for more platforms, they'll apparently be updating the browser more often - "Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence".

Microsoft is planning to create a new version of Edge by using Chromium combined with some components now in Edge, all in the name of providing greater browsing compatibility across the web. As such, many web developers optimize their sites to work best in Chrome, with Firefox and Edge more of an afterthought. Belfiore said that the Microsoft Edge people use today isn't changing but that Microsoft would evolve the browser code more broadly and offer an updated Microsoft Edge experience. Given how reluctant people can be to update their OS, it left users vulnerable to compatibility and security updates. The new browser will also come to Windows 7 and Windows 8, and will update independently of Windows updates. But as of today, Edge only has a 4 percent share of the USA browser market, according to StatCounter. It's a standard Win32 desktop app that will hopefully tap into Fluent Design APIs for things like Acrylic and Reveal effects throughout its UI. Of course, the new Edge will still tie into your Microsoft account and sync your passwords, bookmarks, and other data across devices. Google forks its own version of Chromium and adds all the Google-ly services and functions into it. Microsoft is essentially going to do the same using its own services and functions.

Will Microsoft's decision make it harder for Firefox to prosper? Beyond that, Edge will be coming to MacOS for the first time. That's Microsoft's new motto when it comes to browsers.

All of which brings us to Microsoft's announcement that it plans to use Chromium to improve Edge. What are your thoughts on the news?

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