Microsoft confirms Edge switch to Chromium, Windows 7, 8 and macOS support

Credit Dreamstime

Credit Dreamstime

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore has sketched out its plans for Edge/Chromium on the Windows blog.

Today Microsoft confirmed the leaks that they will be using Google's Chromium web rendering engine for the Edge browser, and would be contributing their developer expertise to evolving the Chromium and other open source web engines. But there were earlier signs that Microsoft planned to play nice with Google's open source project, including reports that the company was helping to bring Chrome to Windows 10 on Arm devices as a native app instead of an emulated version of one.

"We intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop". Future versions of Edge would use Google's Chromium rendering engine, which powers a swathe of browsers, including Chrome and Opera.

MICROSOFT'S RIVALS have given a cautiously optimistic welcome to the decision by the company to rebuild its Edge browser using the Chromium code base.

Edge will be updated more frequently; that means, likely, that Microsoft won't include Microsoft Edge updates with updates for the Windows operating system anymore.

"Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers".

In case you're interested in trying out the newly-baked Edge, you'll need to wait for few months as the company intends to ship it sometime in 2019.

Yesterday, in a post on Reddit linking to the Belfiore announcement, one redditor wasn't overly impressed, which prompted a response from Kyle Alden, Microsoft's Edge Project Manager.

It's a smart move from Microsoft, in a time where Edge just doesn't have the market share to be worth investing so much in its own engineering. As far as the users are concerned, nothing really is going to change on the surface (no pun intended) and Edge will continue to operate as before, just with better compatibility.

Although Mozilla acknowledges that giving up on Edge makes business sense for Microsoft, it states that the Redmond's decision empowers Google to "single-handedly decide what possibilities are available to each one of us". Microsoft is also committing to improve the Chromium project by working on features such as ARM64 support, Web accessibility, and touch support.

"Google's dominance across search, advertising, smartphones, and data capture creates a vastly tilted playing field that works against the rest of us", he added.

This new version will be slowly developed over the next year and will be available for users to test via preview builds from their new Microsoft Edge Insider program.

Once this transition happens, Chrome extensions and applications will run on Edge without much or any tweaking, so developers will have an easier time porting content over to Edge.

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