back to article Microsoft Edge shock: Browser opts for Apple WebKit, Google Blink

Microsoft has released a beta version of its Edge web browser for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. The Redmond windows fitter said it created the ports as a way to let iPhones and 'droids better communicate with Windows 10 devices. Neither will look to directly compete with Chrome or Safari, but rather will be a custom …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    "On iOS, we are using the WebKit engine, as provided by iOS in the WKWebView control. "

    Because Apple will literally not allow anything else.

    Chrome is the same on iPad, just a wrapper around the same controls.

    ALL IOS BROWSERS ARE THE SAME ENGINE. Hence, there is literally no point, as you can't change or improve anything to do with the rendering whatsoever.

    Been telling people this for years, but nobody listens and they still install "another browser" on iOS.

    P.S. Also bad from security perspective - one flaw, hits all iOS users no matter what they use.

    1. DJSpuddyLizard

      Hence, there is literally no point, as you can't change or improve anything to do with the rendering whatsoever.

      That's a bit like saying "what's the point of installing a different browser on my PC, it will use the same graphics card."

      I prefer the way Chrome looks on my iPhone.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "That's a bit like saying "what's the point of installing a different browser on my PC, it will use the same graphics card.""

        Well, no. Not really.

        Chrome looks better on your iPhone due to the DPI of the screen and the fonts used.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Hence, there is literally no point, as you can't change or improve anything to do with the rendering whatsoever."

      Not for rendering, but syncing favourites etc to a desktop and other devices without having to use the large collection of security holes that is Safari is for many users a big win...

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > without having to use the large collection of security holes that is Safari

        Edge doesn't need those security holes, it sends all your browsing history directly to Microsoft without them.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. cjcox

      There are broken browsers on IOS

      There are some terribly broken browsers you can get on IOS, but any normal player MUST use Apple's broken Webkit implementation. This is why even with Chrome and Firefox, there are features that just don't work on IOS, it's all the same limited engine.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple will fool brain-dead plebs with some spin that it enhances the user experience by forcing everything but safari using the old and slow safari unaccelerated engine..

    6. David Lawton

      I still install use Chome on my iPad Mini 1st Gen on iOS 9 because in safari it is painful and reloads pages a lot yet Chrome does not. Explain.......

  2. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Next step

    The logical follow up should be porting Android to x86-64 and naming it Windows 10 Wonderful Edition 2018.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next step

      http://www.android-x86.org/

  3. Def Silver badge

    "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

    This is a good thing. Edge is fucking awful. I don't know how they manage it, but Edge on Windows 10 Mobile is the biggest piece of shit around. Nothing fucking works properly. The text rendering with its bullshit random font size generator is garbage. Even fucking TFS for fuck's sake is unusable (I made the mistake of thinking a Microsoft product might actually work on a Microsoft browser running on a Microsoft phone earlier this afternoon).

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

      "This is a good thing. Edge is fucking awful. I don't know how they manage it, but Edge on Windows 10 Mobile is the biggest piece of shit around. "

      Edge provides far less headaches for web developers than Safari does.

      Although, the majority of my peers who are fully signed up to the Apple tax refuse to admit this.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

        Edge provides far less headaches for web developers than Safari does.

        This is true inasmuch as Safari has taken up Internet Explorer's role of not moving with the times and introducing proprietary extensions directly in the browser. But so what? Edge is a rounding error for web developers.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

        Far fewer headaches!

        In this case it doesn't, as it's just a WebKit wrapper.

        And who the hell would prefer Edge's UI either? The entire thing, rendering engine and user interface, is an abomination.

      3. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

        Edge provides far less headaches for web developers than Safari does.

        So does plain text, but that doesn't make it better!

        Had my first taste of Edge the other day. What a NIGHTMARE! Even things I've taken for granted for many years (eg right-click link, click "open in new tab" - nope, Edge not even able to do something so simple) are still some time away from MS catching up to modern standards. How they hell do they convince people to buy their backwards-incompatible rubbish?

        (Also had fun showing a mate how an older Mint+Mate install (at fresh install) looks so much like the much newer W10 interface, aside from the fisher-price-is-to-advanced fugly-flatness1 and the mind-screwing bouncy in-built adverts tiles - he was a little upset that his "brand new" was actually "old hat", though in MS's case more like a hat a very sick dog has crapped in...2)

        1 All credit to the Bombastic one!

        2 Hey, if you want me to complement MS's OS or UI, MAKE IT WORTH COMPLEMENTING!

    2. EddieD

      Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

      "Edge on Windows 10 Mobile is the biggest piece of shit around. Nothing fucking works properly. The text rendering with its bullshit random font size generator is garbage."

      Quoted for truth - I always have to start Edge twice, because the first time I start it, everything is rendered in a font you need a microscope to read...

      Not only that, but it's inability to stream audio under the lock screen in its recent incarnations is infuriating... I need my fix of Radio4...

      1. BrownishMonstr

        Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

        I never had that problem with my Windows 10 phone /mobile/deadweight, though it might be because I had a bigger screen phone (a phablet, if you will, though I dislike the word).

        My issue with Edge was it stopped rendering anything and I couldn't even refresh or switch tabs. A forced close was the only way to fix it.

        I miss windows phone, or at least what it once was. I would have still use it but I've moved to the dark side now, with iOS but I really miss the keyboard on Windows phone, the swipe was good and for some reason it is better than the Swift keyboard, which MS owns.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

      Even fucking TFS for fuck's sake is unusable (I made the *mistake of thinking a *Microsoft product might actually *work on a *Microsoft browser running on a *Microsoft *phone earlier this afternoon).

      3/10, must try harder. You could have deployed at least six additional "fucking" s at the points marked by asterisks above.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

        TFS is shit in all browsers. At least atlassian products only run like shit in Microsoft browserd, they are fine elsewhere...

  4. Boohoo4u

    I’d rather have Safari on my IPad than the full Microsoft browser experience.

    I also understand Apple’s logic in demanding WebKit for all browsers used on IOS devices. Apple’s ‘walled garden’ is supposed to simplify security. If they allowed all browsers, that means many will exist on the devices in an unpatched state, and an easy target for malicious activity.

    How many browsers (even worsej would now exist in an ‘orphaned’ state if Apple allowed that garbage? Can’t you see ads within games directing kids (or just stupid people) to download unsecured browsers for ‘game points’?

    Apple was right about Flash, and they’re right about this. Bitch all you want, you’re wrong.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Boohoo4u

      I'm looking forward to your opinion when Apple enter the car market with a single body style and engine configuration, paint colour, and spec...And you have to try and defend that with your walled garden argument.

      It's about choice. Customers want choice and neglecting that haemhorrages customers to competitors.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: RE: Boohoo4u

        Apple are heavily into allowing you to order your custom configuration from a relatively compact menu. So your Apple car will come in Rose Gold, Space Grey or Red (tm+), with a choice of 32kW, 64kW or 128kW engines, 2 or 4 seats and a wide range of protective covers from third parties.

        Just don't expect to be able to change the battery. And best take out a new mortgage in advance, just in case the windscreen gets a crack.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: RE: Boohoo4u

          If apple cars launch:

          The wheel sizes will be non-standard half inch versions and only availble from Apple

          The software updates will limit the battery capacity and vehicle speed yearly to make the new model more attractive

          You'll need to use itunes to play the radio

          The car will look very similar to those which have come before, only Apple will attempt to pattent decades old standard tech in them

          You'll pay 30% more for fuel as Apple take their cut. Same for Insurance and VED.

          Spare parts will be tightly controlled and only from Apple at exorbitant prices.

          Not sure where the adapters will fit into this but the Apple car will require adapters and Apple will charge through the nose for them.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re:Apple will charge through the nose for them

            Nissan already charge through the nose.

  5. Kiwi Silver badge
    Trollface

    The Redmond windows fitter said it created the ports as a way to let iPhones and 'droids better communicate with Windows 10 devices.

    It is so very hard to communicate with them when you're laughing hysterically at their utter stupidity!

  6. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    Seriously.

    The Microsoft Launcher, 'Arrow' as was, makes Android just about tolerable. Peeps should try it.

    1. Maventi

      Re: Seriously.

      Tried it, and it's not half bad. Certainly better than the crap that some Android vendors offer (including Samsung). Still got ways to go to top the true vanilla Android experience though (Nexus/Pixel).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously.

      I prefer SqaureHome2....like Winphone 8.1 but with more bells and whistles.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Seriously.

      The Microsoft Launcher, 'Arrow' as was, makes Android just about tolerable. Peeps should try it.

      I did after a work colleague raved about it. Was OK on my phone (but far inferior to Nova Launcher, especiily in widget handling) but on my Asus tablet caused the battery to die in about 2 days rather than the usual 8 day life..

      Looks nice but nowhere near as good as Nova.

    4. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Seriously.

      The Microsoft Launcher, 'Arrow' as was, makes Android just about tolerable. Peeps should try it.

      As much as I generally despise Microsoft products, I definitely like the Arrow launcher for Android. I'm running it on all my Android kit. I'm amazed it came out of Redmond (more likely it was developed by an independent party and picked-up/distributed by MS once they put in a few hooks for their own products).

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Seriously.

        Arrow was not acquired, it was developed in-house by Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/garage/profiles/arrow/

  7. Maventi

    I understand the choice for iOS as there is no choice, as we well know. What I don't get is the use of Blink for the Android version. This doesn't say much for their confidence in EdgeHTML.

    In fact I think MS would be wise to open source EdgeHTML as it's the only 'major' HTML engine in existence today that is entirely closed source, and the only major browser still tied to a single platform and version. Either that, or switch desktop Edge to using WebKit or Blink.

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So basically Microsoft have come up syncing browser history across multiple devices which is a feature that Chrome and Firefox have offered for years. My guess is that anyone who wanted this featured dropped Edge on Windows a while ago in favour of FF or Chrome and is unlikely to switching back to Edge anytime soon.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Partly right. I've been using FireFox for years. Recent version was very flakey, so now using Edge. Recent updates have made it very usable.

      Edge on Android will mean I can stop using LastPass and just rely on MS. Not sure that's a great idea, but more convenient.

    2. Japhy Ryder

      Edge on W10?

      A while back (lets say approx 1 yr), an employer gave me a Surface with W10. Since it was a managed device with Roaming Profiles, we couldn't actually use Edge, which after the first run would just crash on launch. Changing the default browser to something usable was necessary to get some work done, but the help system search box in the start menu would insist on trying to open its results in Edge, so that was broken too. Shame really. It looked like it might have been a nice device if things had actually worked.

  9. TiddlyPom

    Microsoft need to accept that they are not the only game in town anymore

    If Microsoft went back to producing software with "value added" that people could buy on multiple platforms aka Windows, macOS/iOS (as they WILL merge at some point), ChromeOS/Android and Linux then they would improve their position. As it is they have lost their mojo.

    Running Edge on Android is an interesting idea but Chrome (browser) is fast, reasonably efficient and cross-platform. Why would I want to? Open sourcing Edge is a great idea and might persuade people to look more at Microsoft tools but Microsoft are sending mixed messages.

    Porting SQL Server to Linux is a great idea but SQL Server Management Studio is Windows-only. How about being able to run SQL Server natively on macOS? Why not rewrite all standard Windows applications in C# (or C++ for things that need efficiency) and PORT them as well. How about having Microsoft Visual Studio on Linux as well? Yes it would remove the lock-in but it would also allow people on other platforms to use Microsoft software (if they wish to do so).

    Microsoft have some interesting ideas and successes (such as Office 365 and Azure) but many failures as well. Windows 10 GUI breaks the principle of 'least surprise'. In many ways, it is a step backwards from Windows 7 (and don't even get me started about Windows 8).

    I am a Linux user (my current distro of choice is Linux Mint Cinnamon). It is not perfect but is fast, stable, much lower on memory usage than Windows and has a vast range of software available on it. I am also trying out Ubuntu Mate (skinned as Linux Mint Mate) on a PineBook (ARM based laptop). It just works. Come on Microsoft become a better community member and just maybe it might help you as well.

    1. Lysenko

      Re: Microsoft need to accept that they are not the only game in town anymore

      How about being able to run SQL Server natively on macOS?

      Somebody upthread mentioned rounding errors. macOS servers?? Now that's a real rounding error. I didn't even know such things existed until about a week ago when someone mentioned there may be a relict population clinging on in the US education sector. In any case, VMware Fusion already exists to deal with obscure edge cases like this (I'm assuming you were thinking of developers, not actually running a production DB in a Mac).

      1. TiddlyPom

        Re: Microsoft need to accept that they are not the only game in town anymore

        Yes I was thinking of developers. Yes using VM technologies (like VirtualBox or VMware) on a Mac is OK but why not be able to run SQL Server under the host OS? I can see Linux being the main platform for SQL Server in the not-to-distant future. Me, I'll stick with PostgreSQL, MariaDB or NoSQL solutions.

    2. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: Microsoft need to accept that they are not the only game in town anymore

      If you want to run SQL Server on a Mac "server" natively, you can just install Linux and then SQL for Linux. SQL server is going to use up all the system resources anyway. Otherwise just put it on a Linux or Windows VM and call it a day.

  10. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    UWP

    I've thought it would be interesting to port the UWP runtime to Linux (as I understand it the UWP runtime is entirely separate from Win32 APIs, so Wine wouldn't cover it). Not so much because you'd want to run Edge under Linux, but some of the other apps in the MS Store could give you access to products/services that are currently Linux-hostile (yeah, looking at you, Barnes and Noble).

    1. Joe Montana

      Re: UWP

      I imagine at some point Wine will have UWP support added...

      But if you want to run apps which are linux-hostile, you might be better off installing the android runtime and running the android versions - this should be relatively easy as the entire android userland already runs on top of a linux kernel and is open source, and there are way more android apps than uwp apps.

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