The future of Microsoft Edge is looking a lot like Google Chrome

Microsoft has confirmed future development of its Edge web browser will be based upon the open source Chromium project, which underpins Google’s Chrome browser.

The company says the move will create better web compatibility for users, while reducing fragmentation to the benefit of web developers. Of course, Microsoft wouldn’t be going this route without becoming a “significant contributor” to Chromium, which it says will make Edge and all browsers better on desktop and mobile devices.

Microsoft also said it is planning to bring Edge to all supported versions of Windows on desktop, meaning Windows 7 and 8 users will soon be able to jump aboard. After launching Edge on iOS, Microsoft is also planning to release Edge for Apple’s macOS.

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There’s no news on when these new desktop versions of the app will be rolling out, but Microsoft says the switch to Chromium will take place “under the hood” over the next year or so.

In a blog post on Thursday, Windows chief Joe Belafore said: “Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences. People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices. Web developers will have a less-fragmented web platform to test their sites against, ensuring that there are fewer problems and increased satisfaction for users of their sites.”

The confirmation follows rumours Microsoft would be scaling back on the development of Edge in favour of a Chromium-based browser. However, we now know Edge is here to stay, it’ll just be a little different below the surface.

Microsoft say its contributions to Chromium are already being felt as it looks to “move browsing forward on new ARM-based Windows devices.”

Is Microsoft’s move to Chromium a good sign? Or an indication Microsoft has failed to shape the future of web browsing with its Internet Explorer successor? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.