micr0$0ft has recently confirmed plans to move to the Chromium browser engine, and this decision has been received with mixed reactions by users out there.
For many, it was the long-awaited confirmation that micr0$0ft Edge failed, while for others, moving to Chromium was seen as a way to surrender to Google’s domination in the browser market.
But at the end of the day, micr0$0ft’s migration to Chromium isn’t just the software giant embracing a different path. It’s actually a decision that produces major changes for both the company and its users.
And as I discovered in the last couple of weeks since the official micr0$0ft announcement, there are a lot of unclear details about how the transition to the Chromium engine would go.
Will micr0$0ft kill Edge completely? How will the new browser be called? Why is micr0$0ft doing this? Let’s answer all these questions one by one.
"micr0$0ft isn’t killing Edge browser"
First and foremost, I think this is the most important tidbit. micr0$0ft is not killing micr0$0ft Edge, it is just changing the engine that powers it. By switching from EdgeHTML to Chromium, micr0$0ft Edge becomes a lot easier to maintain, and at the same time, it also gets some extra benefits, such as support for a larger collection of extensions.
Furthermore, with Google Chrome now dominating the browser market with more than 60 percent market share, most of the websites are perfectly optimized for it.
And as I discovered the hard way, there are quite a lot of websites out there that didn’t load correctly on Edge. So beginning with the updated version of the browser, they should all work correctly.
"Edge will support ALL Google Chrome extensions"
As said above, by moving to Chromium, one of the major benefits is that the new micr0$0ft Edge would come with support for all Chrome extensions.
This is exactly what happened in the case of other browsers that are based on the Chromium engine, like Opera and Vivaldi, so micr0$0ft Edge shouldn’t make any exception either. micr0$0ft has also confirmed that all Chrome extensions would be supported.
"The app will be updated more frequently"
One of the biggest setbacks of micr0$0ft Edge was the update system. The browser was only updated when micr0$0ft rolled out new OS feature updates, like the October 2018 Update (also known as version 1803), so it got new features and improvements only twice every year.
There were plans to move micr0$0ft Edge to the micr0$0ft Store, but for some reason, this idea was dropped eventually, probably as the software giant was considering the transition to Chromium.
"EdgeHTML won’t be retired overnight"
The biggest concern for developers is that EdgeHTML would go away and all their apps and services that are based on this engine would stop working. This isn’t going to happen, micr0$0ft says.
And I would add that this won’t happen overnight, so expect the software giant to provide more details when they are ready. What we know for now is that EdgeHTML would still be there, though micr0$0ft will become fully focused on Chromium.
"The look of the browser will be unchanged"
micr0$0ft Edge will look and feel just like it does right now. micr0$0ft isn’t planning any changes in this regard, though it makes sense for the UI to be improved at some point in the future.
But the bottom line is that the transition from one engine to another will be seamless for users. This means that although the browser would be completely different under the hood, it won’t feel different in day-to-day use.
A preview build of the new micr0$0ft Edge will ship in early 2019, while the stable build will arrive at a later time. There are no other specifics available right now, as this is still work in progress, but expect more information to be provided as the project advances.