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Microsoft's move to re-build Edge browser on Chrome confirmed

07 December 2018 4

Microsoft has officially confirmed that it is indeed going to re-build the Edge browser by embracing the Chromium platform. The confirmation has come days after rumors of such a move started surfacing on the internet. Other than switching the underlying platform, it will also be expanding Edge's availability to many more devices and operating systems.

The first step of this major overhaul is to basically re-engineer the Edge browser. It currently works on Microsft's in-house EdgeHTML rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine. But the majority of the browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera work on Chromium platform along with Blink and V8 JavaScript engines. This means that Edge is basically either incompatible with many of the websites or is unable to render them properly. This is simply because web developers are not interested in testing their websites or web apps specifically for the Edge browser.

In the official blog post, Microsoft said that it has taken the decision to ensure that Edge is compliant with modern web standards. This will also make it easier for developers to test their apps on the browser. In other words, Microsoft does not want the list of incompatible websites/web apps to keep growing which would eventually result in more and more users going away. It should be all these changes will happen under the hood and nothing will change on the front-end. The name, visual appearance, and user experience of the browser will remain the same as it is currently now.

The team is further working on expanding Edge to other platforms including macOS. It has been a Windows 10 exclusive browser since its inception which is another hurdle. With expanded availability, it will become possible for anyone to use the browser, especially those who are still running Windows 7 or 8.

Microsoft has not shared expected any specific dates for the release of all these changes. It is expected to release first developer previews in the early part of the next year and complete the whole transition by the end of 2019.


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