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Microsoft making Edge open-source, based off Chromium, coming to macOS, Windows 7 & 8

almost 4 years ago by IanDorfman

Microsoft has announced a radical shift in the development strategy of its flagship Edge web browser. This includes making it open-source, changing its foundation, and adding more compatible operating systems.

Joe Belfiore, Windows Corporate Vice President detailed these new plans publicly via a post on Microsoft's official Windows Experience Blog. The most dramatic change is using Chromium as the new basis for Edge's web platform. This is planned to be gradually implemented over the next year of updates to the web browser. The goal of this, according to Belfiore, is to align Microsoft Edge "with web standards" and "with other Chromium browsers".

In addition to this shift to Chromium as a base, Edge will also be released and actively updated not just for Windows 10, Android, and iOS, but also for macOS, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

The last change mentioned in this announcement is that Microsoft will be contributing the enhancements made to Chromium through Edge's development to all Chromium-based web browsers for Windows. This has been received positively by other web browser distributors. Spokespeople for Google and Opera both responded positively to this announcement according to a VentureBeat article by Emil Protalinski. Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, however, published a scathing post on the official Mozilla blog, with quotes such as this:

Microsoft is officially giving up on an independent shared platform for the internet. By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google. This may sound melodramatic, but it’s not. The “browser engines” — Chromium from Google and Gecko Quantum from Mozilla — are “inside baseball” pieces of software that actually determine a great deal of what each of us can do online. They determine core capabilities such as which content we as consumers can see, how secure we are when we watch content, and how much control we have over what websites and services can do to us. Microsoft’s decision gives Google more ability to single-handedly decide what possibilities are available to each one of us.

Further coverage: Windows Experience Blog Ars Technica Engadget gHacks Tech News TechCrunch The Next Web The Verge VentureBeat

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Rebuilt from the ground up using Chromium, the new Microsoft Edge brings you world-class compatibility and performance, the security and privacy you deserve, and new features designed to bring you the best of the web.