Is Microsoft about to concede defeat and switch out Edge for a Chromium-based browser? Three years after it launched alongside Windows 10, it seems Edge could be destined for the Recycling Bin in the sky after failing to build a big audience.
Instead, reports have surfaced suggesting that Microsoft will be releasing a new browser based on Chromium, the open-source project started by Google − which serves as the foundation of Google’s own Chrome browser.
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Windows Central reports that this new project is proceeding under the codename ‘Anaheim’, and if reports are accurate it should be shipping with the 19H1 development cycle, which is currently going through internal testing.
There are lots of maybes here but news that Microsoft, the company behind the ecosystem conquering Internet Explorer, could be giving up on its attempts at dominance and chucking its eggs into Google’s basket feels like a significant milestone.
Moving to a Chromium-rendered browser has benefits. Chrome and Safari are dominant in the mobile space and a lot of sites are design-optimised for just those browsers.
This means surfing the web in Microsoft’s theoretical new browser could be a smoother experience, although the struggle then would be about what Microsoft’s offering has over Google’s Chrome.
Then there’s the monopoly issue. If the browser space is carved up entirely between Chromium-based browsers (which includes Vivaldi, Amazon Silk and many others) and Safari, anyone that isn’t playing ball may have to play catch-up just to stay relevant.
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This could be bad news for lesser-used browsers, including Firefox and Opera, which have under 10% of the total webshare between them, according to StatCounter.
It’s likely that Microsoft will make an official announcement in the coming weeks.
Do you use Edge? Will you be gutted to see the back of it? Let us know on @TrustedReviews.