If you follow Windows news, you have probably seen the news regarding Microsoft moving to use a Chromium-based version of Edge in future Windows 10 updates. The news first broke as a “we are hearing rumors about” articles followed by Microsoft confirming this news the very next day in a blog post.
When I first heard the rumor, I was curious how this would play out. Most articles said something like “Edge is dead” but I didn’t feel the same way. I personally felt that Microsoft would just continue using the name Edge for the browser included in Windows 10, and that is exactly what happened. This means that Edge as we no it will be no more in the future, but it doesn’t mean that Edge is going away completely. This move is a smart one considering a good portion of Windows 10 users probably only associate the Internet with the E on their taskbar. Just ask anyone who works in tech support for Windows users.
I’m still trying to decide how I feel about this move. This move means Microsoft is moving away from their rendering engine, and I have always felt that more competition is good. Dropping another rendering engine means more stuff is going to be served by Blink, the rendering engine in Chromium, and I feel like this could push us towards a path where websites start being built specifically for Blink while ignoring other engines. This would put browsers like Firefox in a tough position and create an online environment similar to what we had back when Internet Explorer was the main way people accessed the Internet. Many websites came with “Internet Explorer required” on the website and would only run using stuff built into Internet Explorer. I don’t remember that time fondly, and I don’t want to deal with it again.
The Mozilla CEO actually responded to Microsoft’s announcement, and they feel very similar to what I feel. You can read the response here: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2018/12/06/goodbye-edge/
Time will tell how this plays out. I’m curious to see what a Chromium-based version of Edge will be like. It is possible to sign up for the Edge Insider program and get access to preview builds. I’m not sure if I will do that or not. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll definitely sign up!