Microsoft abandoning Edge and building a new web browser based on Chromium

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I think it’s safe to say that Microsoft isn’t very good at making browsers. While Edge is a massive improvement on the awful IE and is actually much better at memory management and small-scale performance than Chrome, its lack of features and incompatibility with many sites meant many people weren’t willing to adopt it.

So, despite having recently remade a whole new web browser from scratch with Edge several years ago, it looks like they are going to go back to the drawing board and remake another browser all over again. However, this time, rather than creating something completely unique Microsoft is abandoning EdgeHTML and rather looking to build their new browser off Chromium, the same rendering engine that was first popularised by Google’s Chrome Browser.

According to the reveal on Windows Central, this new browser (codenamed Anaheim) will replace Edge as the default browser on the Windows 10. Details are obviously sketchy on anything further about the new browser and whether Microsoft will be looking to keep some of the current UI and features they have with Edge and just convert it to Chromium or rather as part of their current rebranding look to redesign everything from scratch again.

This news will probably make most people laugh at Microsoft for once again failing to make a winning browser. Plus it’ll also allow web developers to breathe a sigh of relief as they no longer need to support a different rendering engine. However, I do feel a little sad because I have been using Edge on one of my lower spec laptops and found it far outperformed Chrome thanks to its lower memory use. Pages might not have always worked, but it at least didn’t eat up all the RAM like Chrome does, while being faster to boot.

To me though, points to people’s unwillingness to change browsers even when there may be something better available. Something which I don’t think will help Microsoft’s cause regardless of what browser it releases. Perhaps they need to just give up the browser game all together and just work with the companies to make their browsers better integrate into their Windows platform, making a better customer experience for all. Or somehow just bolster support for IE 11, which believe it or not, is apparently still more widely used than Edge ever was.

Last Updated: December 5, 2018

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