back to article It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Microsoft on Thursday said it intends to use the open-source Chromium browser engine in the desktop version of its Edge browser, promising the two per cent of global internet users who favor Edge an improved web experience. Joe Belfiore, corporate veep of Windows, announced the plan, which was reported earlier this week. " …

JohnFen
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"We are enthusiastic about the benefit we believe this will bring to the larger web community."

I'm looking forward to seeing it this will bring any real benefit at all.

Version 1.0
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Meh

In other news today ... oh wait, there is no other news. Microsoft switching to Chromium? ... see icon.

John Brown (no body)
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The real news is that MS are giving up on browser security as being too hard and will now blame all future bugs on the soon-to-be underlying Chromium.engine.

Dave K
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Doubtful. Probably one of the least-complained about features of Edge was the rendering engine. The UI, lack of features, crap extension availability etc. are why it flopped. Maybe using Blink will allow them to Utopias Chrome extensions? If not, and if Edge continues to be ugly and inflexible, I can't see this move turning anything around for MS.

Jim 59

No members of U2 were harmed in the making of this article.

HmmmYes
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No.

MS are giving up o nwriting software.

MS are slowly but surely giving up the idea that its badly written shit software is suitable everywhere.

Today the browser.

Tomorrow the OS?

MS Winddow Server BSD 2022?

Hans 1
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Happy

Indeed, but then again, unlike Edge, chromium was not co-developed by Adobe. MS are now embracing chromium, expect HUGE increases in number of security holes in chromium ... chromium devs will have a hard time vetting MS code pouring in ...

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

The real news is that MS are giving up on browser security as being too hard and will now blame all future bugs on the soon-to-be underlying Chromium.engine.

MS gave up on browser security as being too hard in 1995.

Charles Calthrop

the edge is foine.

Zonker Zoggs

Are those Chrome's cataract lenses?

bombastic bob
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Unhappy

I'm looking forward to seeing it this will bring any real benefit at all.

This deserves a topic.

any REAL benefit? most likely, none.

Micro-shaft has DOUBLED DOWN on the 2D FLATTY and THE SLURP, by adopting ANOTHER "slurpy browser" to violate user's privacy with. And display web content "all 2D FLATTY". Well, Austalis "went there" a few years ago, disappointing Firefox users (but making their snowflake overlords FEEL GOOD about it).

And Chrome is known for slurping on 'droid platforms, so why not WINDOWS AS WELL???

It sounds like the beginnings of an EVIL PARTNERSHIP. And Google is NOT supposed to be doing EVIL, right?

Disappointment is the only possible outcome.

Steve Channell
Thumb Up

WebAssembly & Blazer

Aside from the obvious issue that Edge is a also-ran in the browser world, and web-developers are not developing for it, the big change driving this is mature WebAssembly support built into Chromium. PNaCl was Googles project for downloadable native code and forms the basis of WebAssembly binary modules.

Microsoft took the LLVM support in Mono (.NET clone) to enable .NET code in the browser though the Blazer project.. but only works well on Chromium - they use Chromium internally for Blazer debugging. Microsoft will be adding code for debug integration.

Def
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Re: WebAssembly & Blazer

...and web-developers are not developing for it...

Err, given that Edge is more standards compliant than either Firefox or Safari, I'm really not sure what you mean by that.

nevarre

Re: I'm looking forward to seeing it this will bring any real benefit at all.

Lighten up, Bob.

a_yank_lurker
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Re: WebAssembly & Blazer

Looking at HTML5test.com, most of the major browsers are reasonably compliant, with Imbecile Explorer being the a serious laggard. Edge is competitive with Firefox and better than Safari and worse than Chrome. So for generic website, you can probably ignore the deficiencies of Edge as you are likely to use Safari as your baseline for feature support since Imbecile Explorer is being slowly exterminated by Slurp.

The problems with Edge had nothing to do with standards support, it is quite reasonable but with how badly it was rushed out. This gave it a noticeable alphaish feel to users which was a major turn off. It never recovered. Its guilt by association with the t*rd Imbecile Explorer also meant that it had to be a grand slam from day one or it will in trouble.

To Mars in Man Bras!
Facepalm

Stupid Yank Phrases

"...Micro-shaft has DOUBLED DOWN on..."

One of many many stupid American phrases which make me want to head-butt holes in walls. How the fuck do you Double DOWN on something. Doubling by it's very nature means there's twice as much of whatever it was, as there was before. So it's Doubling UP.

And don't get me started on "I could care less", "awesome" or "reach out"!

optic

Re: WebAssembly & Blazer

My experience with blazor was edge and Firefox was more performant with web assembly than chrome. Chrome isn't always better just because.

Timmy B
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Re: I'm looking forward to seeing it this will bring any real benefit at all.

RE: "Lighten up, Bob."

Not been here long, have you?

zekepliskin

Re: I'm looking forward to seeing it this will bring any real benefit at all.

The general incomprehensibility and tendency to capitalise words coupled with describing things like some kind of epic battle suggest you have read way too many comic books. Perhaps you need a new manual of style?

PhilipN
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Re: Stupid Yank Phrases

As you wish. In that case I shan’t visit with you either.

David Austin

I'm not a web developer, but with my end user and IT Support hats on, Edge always seemed like a nice rendering engine wrapped inside a half baked User Interface.

The incomplete status it launched in on the first few versions of Windows 10 (Probably up to around Anniversary Update) burnt users badly, and it got the reputation of not being very good that it just couldn't shake - about 30% of issues we saw with the RTM Windows 10 release were fixed by setting the default browser back to Internet Explorer or Chrome.

I think this may be the little talked about downside of releasing early and often to the general populace.

VicMortimer
FAIL

This sh*t again?

So, they think we need yet another browser from MS to download Firefox? Really?

https://wallpapers.wallhaven.cc/wallpapers/full/wallhaven-574683.jpg

AMBxx
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Re: This sh*t again?

I'm a happy firefox user, but have to accept that it's in decline. I see plenty of companies that still use IE. I see plenty that have standardised on Chrome. I'm yet to see one that uses FireFox or Edge as the desktop standard.

big_D
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Re: This sh*t again?

In Germany a lot of companies I've worked with/for use either IE or Firefox and don't use Chrome or, at worst, the standard browser is Firefox and users can use Chrome if they want.

But tracking and personal data leakage are generally very big themes over here.

TonyJ
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Re: This sh*t again?

"...I'm a happy firefox user, but have to accept that it's in decline. I see plenty of companies that still use IE. I see plenty that have standardised on Chrome. I'm yet to see one that uses FireFox or Edge as the desktop standard..."

No surprises there - no native GPO support has always been a killer in an enterprise. I'm not up-to-date on FF but I believe this was announced as coming?

But on top of that, things like (until a couple of yeas ago) the browse not using the Windows certificate store were also very anti-enterprise.

I had to deploy it in a high security environment and the idea of using external, relatively unknown, third-party plugins and addons to do some of this stuff was never going to be allowed.

Hans 1
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Facepalm

Re: This sh*t again?

Yeah, I see that also, but then they go ahead spill tghe beans with the desktop OS and Office 365.

Windows 10 and Office 265 are not GDPR compliant!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: This sh*t again?

I see plenty of companies that still use IE.

There are also plenty of people using colostomy bags. Very few of those do so by choice either.

Hans 1
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Re: This sh*t again?

Either the downvoters have seen the code and then, maybe, they are right, I doubt it, though ... no code, sending data, non-compliant until proven compliant, which mean opensource the code sending said data.

Dutch watchdog is already taking care of Office 365. Office 365 online is definitely NOT GDPR-compliant, or were you asked, if yes, why was I not asked ?

JeevesMkII

Time to bow to the inevitable

For the longest time, Microsoft's browsers have only been used to download some other browser du jour. Why don't they just give up the pretence and just show a store page on first boot with the selection of third party browsers that are available.

If they're going to put less effort in even than Apple does, just give up entirely and focus on something more core to your business. Ship the Chrome rendering engine to back the HTML rendering UI controls, and don't have a Microsoft Browser at all.

Mark 85
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Re: Time to bow to the inevitable

Could be just a profit decision. MS would rather use something far better than Edge than try to upgrade it and get it to work properly. Maybe there's a secret plan for Windows 11 based on open source such as Linux to cut development costs.

JohnFen
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Re: Time to bow to the inevitable

"just show a store page on first boot with the selection of third party browsers that are available."

They're not going to trick me into using the store THAT way!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Time to bow to the inevitable

Even better - don't have a Microsoft anything at all.

Someone Else
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OK, then...

Joe Belfiore, corporate veep of Windows, announced the plan, which was reported earlier this week. "Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences," he said.

The essence of manure is strong with this one. But OK, then...you really want to make the web "experience" (takes a quick breath, as a fresh waft of manure floats by in the presence of that phrase) better for may different audiences? Make Edge uninstallable!

And while you're at it, make Insecure Exposer uninstallable too!

Hans 1
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Re: OK, then...

And while you're at it, make Insecure Exposer uninstallable too!

Windows 98 Lite ?

Lord Elpuss
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Re: OK, then...

I'm no Microsoft fan, but Insecure Exposer, really?

jelabarre59
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Re: OK, then...

I'm no Microsoft fan, but Insecure Exposer, really?

I always preferred "Internyet Exploder" myself.

gotes

Re: OK, then...

Maybe throw in a "Micro$haft" as well.

Andy Mac
Thumb Up

This is good news. Microsoft's slow release cadence and insistence that each new browser version will not run on older versions of Windows has causes nothing but pain for us devs. I find it faintly ludicrous that MS was somehow unable to keep pace with Google and Mozilla.

Also, I'm not overly concerned about the reduction in competing browser engines as the companies with a vested interest in the Chromium project should keep it from stagnating into another IE6. I could be wrong though, and they might all become puppet states in the greater Googleocracy.

JohnFen
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Oh, no

"the company intends to deliver browser updates for all Windows versions "on a more frequent cadence.""

If there was even a chance that I would use Edge, this would be greatly distressing news for me.

Robert E A Harvey

One word response

BWAHAHAHAWAHA

LDS
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And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

1) A new browser unavailable for earlier OS, meaning narrower user base

2) Having to fix two different engines, waiting for Win10 to conquer the world (if only they could fix updates...)

3) Lack of features because released too early.

4) Lots of CVE showing it wasn't much safer.

5) Too much emphasis on touch when Windows is still mostly used with a mouse

No one is accountable for such debacle? What's next? Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?

a_yank_lurker
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Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

"Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?" Slurp might really surprise us now that their flagship browser will be Slurpped up Chromium; they might announce Bloat11 will be based on Linux. Now that would be a complete surrender.

As odd as that sounds there might a solid business reason behind it. As long as one can run W32 software on it users will not care what the underlying code is. Systems admins will care as they will need to learn how to administer a registry-less system. Developers fundamentally will not care as long as they get code to run on it. If it is based on a common distro family, they could compile their code for either the distro base or W32. And Slurp will spend a lot less money on the OS if they base W11 off Debian for example but they will still supply "Windows" for the masses and the PHBs.

I doubt my conjecture will occur but consider what really is the practical definition of Bloat for a user. It is an OS the runs Bloat programs seemingly natively. What is done under the hood is not important to them.

John Brown (no body)
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Gimp

Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

"Systems admins will care as they will need to learn how to administer a registry-less system."

If there was any chance of your fantasy coming true, you can be sure that MS would choose a SystemD based Linux.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

2) Having to fix two different engines, waiting for Win10 to conquer the world (if only they could fix updates...)

They need to fix a lot more than just updates.

Milton
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"What's next? Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?"

That is about the only thing I can think of which would get me to remain as a Windows user after W7 support dies. Along, of course, with the ability to permanently, completely, verifiably switch off all telemetry, spyware, nagware, updates bugger-ups &c. Doesn't seem very likely, somehow; but I'll be damned if go anywhere that unreliable pile of clumsy UI and spyware called W10.

As for browsers, although I'm a grizzled old-school coder among other things, I've never much bothered to interest myself in browser rendering engines. It's always seemed slightly pointless to have significant differences between browsers at such a low level. We have, or ought to have, a very clear and precise worldwide standard for HTML, agreed by all, and equally precise and unambiguous rules for how it is rendered so that the only remaining question is whether the code that does the job is high performance, high quality and above all secure. I guess I assumed that by 2018 convergent evolution would have produced a winner, almost certainly open-source, and that differences among browsers would have been based on stuff like footprint (heavy, feature-rich, ok for desktop; or light, slimmed down, great for mobile) and UI customisability (from very basic, not much you can change, to almost infinite choices right down to preferences of, say, automuting some sites and not others). My analogy might be old TV sets: from small cheap monochrome with three controls to a big colour console that even lets you adjust the saturation, the core of how they work is always identical (heck, they even made the colour 625-line PAL signal backwardly compatible with black&white!) withbthe same processes being used to extract the same basic image from a complex signal, and the real differences are built on top in terms of bells, whistles and expense.

Google is rotten to its core by this point, but if the core rendering engine is open-source I'm not sure we'd have much to worry about. Much as I like Mozilla for being not-Google, the truth for me at least is that Vivaldi offers by far the best browsing experience (Blink engine, and many critically useful tiny touches, like the ability to zoom a single page and not an entire site). (And of course, Firefox is unusably awful on Android, where Brave [Blink engine again] does a fantastic job.)

Yeah, I'm looking at you, CNN.

bombastic bob
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Unhappy

Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

"What's next? Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?"

it's what MOST of us wish for, but it will NEVAR happen. That's because MS isn't done CHANGING US INTO WHAT THEY WANT US TO BE yet. expect more cramming of unwanted "whatever", indefinitely.

'please be patient, Microsoft isn't finished CHANGING ME yet'

^^^-- a new catch phrase in need of an acronym

Peter2
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Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

Systems admins will care as they will need to learn how to administer a registry-less system.

I'm a sysadmin.

I can't remember the last time I actually edited the registry on a machine. I think it was under server 2003, so probably not overly recently.

And I still don't care if I support windows or *nix boxes, as long as I get paid for doing it and the programs required actually run on that OS.

Orv
Silver badge

Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

I can't remember the last time I actually edited the registry on a machine. I think it was under server 2003, so probably not overly recently.

Yup. What sysadmins really care about is "can I manage it centrally? Will it fit into my existing infrastructure?" If it understands GPO and talks to Active Directory they're mostly happy.

A big reason Windows still rules the corporate world is management tools. macOS has been actively getting worse in this area (it was never good), and Linux is stuck with a lot of creaky old tools that require you to roll your own integration.

Peter2
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Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

Pretty much. Though the real reason windows still runs the desktop is that the industry specific software is written for it, although that's less of an issue these days with web apps.

Def
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Re: "What's next? Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?"

We have, or ought to have, a very clear and precise worldwide standard for HTML, agreed by all, and equally precise and unambiguous rules for how it is rendered...

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Thanks for that. ;)

Yes we do. Sort of. Too bad it's a fucking hacked together piece of garbage. Have you read it recently? It's a fucking mess that's never going to get fixed. Like pretty much everything the W3C produces it's a way-over-the-top botch job designed by people who have no clue how to architect systems or understand even the most basic of things about how to engineer such things. HTML 1 was a bad joke and each successive version has built on earlier mistakes.

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