Microsoft to ditch Edge for Chrome spinoff

Microsoft Edge
  • Following in Opera’s footsteps, Microsoft is planning to ditch its Edge browser in favour of a Chromium fork
  • Microsoft had built Edge Browser from scratch

In what can only be termed as expected, Microsoft is considering to discontinue its Edge web browser that had replaced the old Internet Explorer a few years ago.

Microsoft Edge browser which was based on an engine named EdgeHTML, built from scratch by Microsoft, was designed to be fast, lightweight and remedied common security issues that had plagued Internet Explorer. While the Edge browser was received positively by users in terms of usability and performance, it has lagged behind Chrome (& Chromium) in terms of the updates to its backend software.

Microsoft Edge displaying
Microsoft Edge displaying

Chrome & Chromium the clear leader

Microsoft has struggled to penetrate the web browser market lagging at only 5% market share, Chrome leads the pack with over 60%, with Firefox coming in second. While Microsoft Edge continues to be proprietry both Chromium (from which Chrome is forked) and Firefox continue to remain open source which has resulted in it receiving faster updates and fixes.

Because of this Microsoft has finally decided to do away with EdgeHTML and instead build a browser, codenamed “Anaheim”, forked from Chromium.

Consistent User Experience across browsers might actually help Microsoft

Microsft’s move might end up being a masterstroke if executed well, as users who will have a consisted user experience across Chrome and “Anaheim” might find it easier to move over from the memory hogging, resource guzzling behemoth that Chrome has become. Case in point being Opera, which relies on users being able to easily switch over from Chrome and infact copies the entire Chrome preferences, bookmarks and cookies over to Opera during install to help with the transition.

The Chromium project will also benefit from Microsoft’s experties, as evidenced by its engineers recently committing some code to the Chromium project to help Google Chrome run on ARM devices.

It is likely that Microsoft will do what Opera did 5 years ago, use Chromium as the backed with additional functionalities and user interface changed to reflect the brand.

Seems like Microsoft did an Internet Explorer with Edge.

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