Microsoft will officially rebuild Edge as a Chromium-based browser

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Now, it seems that the engine it runs on, EdgeHTML, is set to be replaced. There's a reason Microsoft didn't opt to go with UWP, and it's because Microsoft is prioritizing bringing Edge to other platforms over making it exclusive to Windows 10. By moving to the open-source engine of Chromium, they can contribute to the platform used by several browsers (and reap the benefits from other contributors) while also having more resources to invest in making its browser have unique differentiators when compared to Chrome. "As part of this, we intend to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge - but other browsers as well - better on both PCs and other devices". To reach more people, Microsoft plans to expand Edge beyond Windows 10 to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and MacOS, and will update the browser more frequently.

Microsoft has officially confirmed that they are going to be gutting Edge and converting it into a Chromium based browser.

If you're the type who likes to get eyes on beta versions of software before it hits the masses, there's also an Insider Program for the Edge browser.

Another key highlight of the announcement is the suggestion that Microsoft Edge is coming to the Mac.

While Microsoft officials previously insisted that browsers in the Microsoft Store use Microsoft's EdgeHTML and JavaScript engines, the new requirement could be that they will have to use Microsoft's implementation of Chromium. "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".

The move to Chromium as the underpinnings of Edge should improve the situation quite a bit.

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This also means that many of Edge's existing features will have to be rebuilt for the new version, which Microsoft says it is committed to doing.

Finally they plan on being active contributors to the Chromium Project, like they have been doing with the ARM version of Chrome.

That new browser is said to now carry the codename Anaheim, and will replace Edge as the default browser for Windows 10. New Chromium builds roll out every few weeks. However, we believe that everything that makes Edge unique, such as its focus on inking, providing an excellent reading and PDF experience, will still be there in the new Edge.

Belfiore points out this isn't Microsoft's first foray into open source browsers.

The change isn't expected to roll out until next year sometime, but it should be good news from Edge.

The company says these "under the hood" changes will take place gradually over the next year, and developed in the open, with a preview build for web developers ready in early 2019. Previously, new versions of Edge were only deployed with Windows updates, leading to serious fragmentation.