Battle of the browsers after Microsoft makes big change to Edge

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"Switching to Chromium makes no difference in market share, as the only way to compete now is through the browser's UI [user interface], not via the engine".

Unknown was whether Microsoft would keep the Edge name or give the browser a new name and whether the user interface between Edge and Anaheim would differ. Belfiore said that the Microsoft Edge people use today isn't changing but that Microsoft would evolve the browser code more broadly and offer an updated Microsoft Edge experience.

It remains to be seen whether users will have any more interest in Edge on Chromium than they did for Edge on EdgeHTML, and truthfully we kind of doubt it. Microsoft plans to have a preview build of the new, Chromium-based Edge browser in "early 2019".

Microsoft has officially announced that it is bringing Chromium engine to Microsoft Edge.

In a blog post, Microsoft Corporate VP of Windows Joe Belfiore confirmed the early rumors of this decision, and said Microsoft intends "to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge - but other browsers as well - better on both PCs and other devices".

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"Over the next year or so, we'll be making a technology change that happens "under the hood" for Microsoft Edge, gradually over time, and developed in the open so those of you who are interested can follow along", adds Belfiore. The new variant, codenamed Anaheim, will be rebuilt on the Chromium platform and use the Blink rendering engine and V8 JavaScript engine. Lastly, Microsoft thinks the shift to the Chromium platform will help bring Edge to the macOS desktop.

Edge itself has struggled to gain much of a following despite Microsoft's attempt to push it as the default in Windows 10.

One of the reasons Microsoft has taken this move now is to try and ensure a more consistent web experience for its users, and as part of that, it's also going to be launching a Mac version of Edge once the Chromium switch is complete. Microsoft's new direction suggests that it will scrap the use of its EdgeHTML rendering engine. Currently, Edge updates are tied with Windows 10 updates, which means it only gets a handful of updates throughout the year but once it's decoupled from the OS, it can be updated as often as required across all platforms. From Microsoft's perspective, this move will foster better compatibility on the web. It'll contribute Windows accessibility capabilities to the Chromium codebase, as well as improvements in "desktop touch, gesture recognition and scroll/panning smoothness".

Finally they plan on being active contributors to the Chromium Project, like they have been doing with the ARM version of Chrome. The Microsoft Careers portal now shows 23 listings associated with "Edge jobs".

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