According to rumors, Microsoft abandons the development of Edge and develops a new browser for Windows 10 based on Chromium. The reason could be the slow spread of Edge. Windows users would thus remain the only alternative to Chromium-based browsers in future only Firefox.
With Edge Microsoft ventured for Windows 10, a new start in terms of browser development and threw a lot of ballast of the old browser Internet Explorer overboard. And while Microsoft Edge did a lot better, other browsers like Chrome and Firefox stayed ahead – and were struggling with fewer compatibility issues, especially on various websites.
The result was a continued decline in market share: ComputerBase brings Edge to only four to five percent market share, although Edge is the standard Windows 10 browser used in nearly half of all pageviews. At least technically savvy users are therefore actively choosing Microsoft Edge in droves.
Presumably to avoid compatibility issues with websites, Microsoft's new browser code-named “Anaheim” should be based on Chromium – the open-source part of Google Chrome. In 2013, Opera stopped the development of its own browser engine “Presto” – since Opera is based on Blink / Chromium. The same applies to the Vivaldi browser built by former Opera developers. Fixing compatibility issues was also a major motivating factor for Opera.
If Edge goes under it's critical support is given to the only remaining major web browser on Windows that will not be based on Chromium: @firefox,
– Zach Leatherman (@zachleat) December 4, 2018
Whether or not Microsoft's new browser will continue to be called Edge is still unclear. The variants of Microsoft's browser for Android and iOS also do not use their own “EdgeHTML” rendering engine and are still called Edge (Android, iOS).
Fewer and fewer rendering engines
Should Microsoft really give up its own rendering engine “EdgeHTML”, then there would be only three significant rendering engines in the future: Blink (Chromium, Chrome, Edge, Samsung Internet, Opera, Vivaldi, …), Gecko (Firefox, SeaMonkey, …) and WebKit (Safari, Epiphany, …). And since Blink is a fork of WebKit, these two implementations can not really be considered completely independent. Too few independent implementations of web standards can be a problem for the web because individual rendering engines have more power to decide the fate of the web.
You ask me why browser diversity matters. I'll tell you why.
– Rachel Nabors 💙 (@rachelnabors) June 11, 2018
The emergence of a new rendering engine is due to the now immense list of web standards to be implemented is not expected. Although Mozilla is gradually integrating more parts of the new Servo rendering engine into Firefox, it does not create a new rendering engine, but replaces an existing rendering engine. All three of the remaining rendering engines Blink, Gecko and WebKit are free software, so a fork would be possible. In addition, Blink or Chromium are already not only developed by Google employees, but also other companies contribute to – recently also Microsoft.
Desktop apps as a true reason for Microsoft's move?
Electron is a cancer murdering both macOS and Windows as it proliferates. Microsoft must offer a drop-in version with native optimizations to improve performance and resource utilization.
– SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) December 4, 2018
Microsoft could therefore consider integrating Electron – and ultimately Chromium – in Windows, so that in the future no longer every Electron app own copies of Chromium and Node.js on the hard drive / SSD and RAM must hold, which has advantages in terms of performance and especially battery life could bring. Then it would make sense only if your own browser builds on Chromium.
Update 06.12.2018 20:44 clock
Update 07.12.2018 10:09 clock
Update 05.03.2019 14:40 clock