Recent rumors were real: Microsoft’s Edge will become a Chromium-based browser.
Microsoft’s Corporate VP Joe Belfiore revealed the news in a blog post Thursday, saying the company intends to “to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop.”
Here’s the kicker: Microsoft plans to bring this new, Chromium-based Edge browser to the Mac.
According to Belfiore, Microsoft plans to make the switch to Chromium “over the next year or so.”
For users, this means better compliance with web standards and other Chromium-based browsers such as Google’s Chrome and Opera. Microsoft also plans to deliver and update Edge more frequently to all supported versions of Windows. And, finally, Microsoft hopes that its participation in the Chromium project will make other Chromium-based browsers better on Windows devices.
Hey all you Microsoft Edge fans… we’ve been working on some plans to make Edge more compatible and more broadly available. We think this will make users, developers and IT Managers ALL happier with Edge!
Here’s the details…
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) December 6, 2018
And, yes, Belfiore says all this work will enable the company to “bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS.” The company likely doesn’t expect to get a huge market share from the move; competing with both Chrome and macOS’ native Safari would be a tall order.
Instead, it’s about making the browser better. As Belfiore puts it: “Improving the web-platform experience for both end users and developers requires that the web platform and the browser be consistently available to as many devices as possible.”
Current Edge users don’t need to do anything, as the switch isn’t happening very soon. Microsoft plans to have a preview build of the new, Chromium-based Edge browser in “early 2019.”