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Microsoft switches to Chromium for its Edge browser

December 8, 2018 • Top Stories

This Chromium-powered web browser will replace Edge on Windows 10.

Microsoft switches to Chromium for its Edge browser

Microsoft is switching to Google’s Blink rendering engine and V8 JavaScript engine in its Edge browser, subsequently using code from the Chromium open source project.

This will effectively turn Microsoft’s Edge into a Chrome clone. This Chromium-powered web browser will replace Edge on Windows 10.

Edge was originally built from scratch with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, but even though it was new and shiny, Edge was never really successful. It was designed to be faster, more lightweight and secure than its predecessor, Internet Explorer 11, but it came riddled with issues upon launch.

This update was prompted by compatibility issues faced by web developers. Because Web developers often test pages in Chrome exclusively, small errors can make pages totally incompatible with Edge. This is easily fixed, but because Edge isn’t being used to test pages at all, it’s a lot harder to make changes or even realize that you could make changes at all.

As a result, Microsoft is building a new web browser powered by Chromium, which uses a rendering engine called Blink, a rendering engine first popularized by Google’s Chrome browser. This new browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser, but it will still mostly maintain the look and feel of the current Edge browser. All this endeavour will really achieve is a foothold in the Chromium open source community and a few minor upgrades like more stability and a supposedly more secure browsing experience.

It will be a challenge for Microsoft to use Chromium successfully if it can’t incorporate Chromium code updates, build Edge, and then distribute it through Windows Update in a timely and efficient way. Any hiccups in this process will leave it open to security gaps. This is according to a report by ARS Technica, wherein it also says that quick integration would be way more straightforward, but that the more Edge diverges from Chromium, the harder the processes become.

By Daniëlle Kruger
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