We read earlier this week that Microsoft is abandoning their Edge browser in favour of creating a newer browser based on the Chromium rendering engine rather than supporting their ill-fated Edge renderer. It was a move met with both smugness at the inevitability of it all and disappointment – because for all of its flaws, there was some smart engineering in Edge that was just never able to reach its potential.
However, it appears that we may all just end up winning from this because new reports reveal that Microsoft is willing to put their knowledge of Windows integration and engineering prowess to good use by making the entire Chromium open-source platform a better experience. Edge had features like popup notifications that tied it directly into Windows 10 and provided users with updates even when the browser was somewhere in the background. It also allowed them to optimise the battery life on Windows 10 devices and offer better memory usage which were all features that allowed it to perform faster than even Chrome for the few that used it on the sites that supported it. Mixing these technologies with Chromium’s superior rendering abilities and feature-set could make for an epic browsing experience.
Something which Microsoft wants to do as revealed in a new letter to users on the Edge Github page:
We will offer our Windows platform expertise to improve the experience of all Chromium-based browsers on Windows. We recognize that making the web better on Windows is good for our customers, partners and our business – and we intend to actively contribute to that end. We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Chromium community in the areas of battery life, touch, accessibility, security, and other areas of mutual interest.
We expect our engineers to learn and over time become experts in the Chromium project and grow into active and responsible members of the community. We are eager to increase our contributions to the Chromium project and will continue to maintain any contributions we make.
We recognize the value of competition and intend to bring-to-life our best vision for a Microsoft Edge browser that builds on Chromium open source via differentiated user experience features and connected services.
That is fantastic news for the rest of us though there is no doubt that while Microsoft will be improving the overall Chromium experience they will probably still hold back certain features for their own browser that will now be based around Chromium. As most people spend their time on computers through web browsers, any improvements made here are incredibly important and beneficial to the industry.
Hopefully, we will get to see some interesting new features and improvements come out in the coming year on the browser front. Along with auto-updates and patches that could potentially crash your computer on a regular basis. I hope I’m kidding on that last point.
Last Updated: December 7, 2018