The browser is pre-installed with Windows 10, the operating system often recommends that people abandon a third-party browser in favor of Microsoft's offering, and it even toyed with notifications begging Windows Insider Program members to give Edge a chance as they installed a competitor.
With this announcement, Microsoft is declaring EdgeHTML, the rendering engine and web development platform underpinning Edge, to be a failed project. But it's also a tacit acknowledgement that Google's Chrome and Chromium rendering technology have become today's dominant web standard.
Microsoft Edge's mobile browser has been based on open source from its beginnings more than a year ago, a design decision welcomed by senior figures at Google, such as browser boss Parisa Tabriz, at the time.
However, it appears that we may all just end up winning from this because new reports reveal that Microsoft is willing to put their knowledge of Windows integration and engineering prowess to good use by making the entire Chromium open-source platform a better experience. Consumers, on the other hand, will experience "improved compatibility" with all websites when using Edge, Belfiore said. Microsoft plans to have a preview build of the new, Chromium-based Edge browser in "early 2019".
Over the next year, Edge will join the army of browsers based on the open-source Chromium project, including Google's Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Yandex, Brave and others.
Microsoft has given Edge numerous advantages in the war on retention. We do expect to offer a new WebView that apps can choose to use based on the new rendering engine.
"It is an interesting move by Microsoft and in many ways it reminds me of the move Microsoft made with regards to the Web, after first competing with it and loosing, but then using their now famous embrace, extend, extinguish path".
Belfiore also indicated that "Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows".
Edge itself has struggled to gain much of a following despite Microsoft's attempt to push it as the default in Windows 10. Vulnerabilities in the open source project may affect a broader set of browsers and innovations developed for Safari and Firefox may not be adopted elsewhere.
The move to Chromium is certainly going to be a huge one for Edge as a browser.
Following Microsoft's announcement yesterday, Mozilla penned a farewell post to EdgeHTML, largely lamenting the state of the browser market, Chromium's continued dominance, and what it could mean for the web as a whole.
Microsoft said they don't just see the move as a case of giving in to the competition.
Mozilla, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be happy with the two tech giants collaborating together.
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