Mozilla CEO says Microsoft’s switch to Chromium is ‘terrible’ for the web

Angelica Greene
December 8, 2018

"Switching to Chromium makes no difference in market share, as the only way to compete now is through the browser's UI [user interface], not via the engine".

The Microsoft Edge browser now runs on the EdgeHTML engine. Mozilla laments that Microsoft's decision gives Google the ability "to single-handedly decide what possibilities are available to each of us". That's what happened when Microsoft had a monopoly on browsers in the early 2000s before Firefox was released.

Microsoft has committed to still advancing web standards, and bringing the current advantages from Edge over to Chromium, such as the accessibility and security features. The central assertion is that Microsoft Edge will adopt the Chromium open source project "create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers", wrote Belfiore. Could we see more people move from Edge to Firefox?

According to Belfiore, Microsoft plans to make the switch to Chromium "over the next year or so".

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In a slightly cheeky tweet Sean Lyndersay, principal lead program manager for Microsoft Edge, pointed out that his team needs new developers for the browser.

Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence: Whether you're on Windows 7, 8, or 10, Microsoft wants Edge to run (and run well) on your system. Lastly, Microsoft thinks the shift to the Chromium platform will help bring Edge to the macOS desktop. While this is indeed a huge change, the devil is in the details, especially with EdgeHTML being so intertwined with both Windows 10 itself as well as with Microsoft's sputtering efforts at embracing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and the Universal Windows Platform for apps (UWP).

'Microsoft's web browser should finally be able to compete alongside Chrome, Opera and Firefox, and those who are all-in with the Microsoft ecosystem will finally be getting a browser from Microsoft that works well when browsing the web'. There's a lot of reasons for this change, and the move is a good one, but it's also a little sad for the web as a whole. Currently, Edge updates are tied with Windows 10 updates, which means it only gets a handful of updates throughout the year but once it's decoupled from the OS, it can be updated as often as required across all platforms. The company plans to be a major contributor to the Chromium project, stating its engineers have already started work on better ARM support. Microsoft tried, and largely failed, to gain traction for a model where developers supported Windows only web apps, available in the Windows Store, as a way to offer modern web based applications to Windows. The Microsoft Careers portal now shows 23 listings associated with "Edge jobs".

Other reports by GizPress

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