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. " …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    "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.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Meh

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

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        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.

        1. HmmmYes Silver badge

          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?

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          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 ...

        3. 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.

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      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.

      1. 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.

    3. Jim 59

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

      1. Charles Calthrop

        the edge is foine.

        1. Zonker Zoggs

          Are those Chrome's cataract lenses?

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      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.

      1. nevarre

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

        Lighten up, Bob.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          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?

      2. 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"!

        1. PhilipN Silver badge

          Re: Stupid Yank Phrases

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

      3. 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?

    5. 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.

      1. Def Silver badge

        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.

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        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.

      3. 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.

  2. 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

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      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.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        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.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          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!

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge

            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 ?

      2. TonyJ Silver badge

        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.

      3. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      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.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      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!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to bow to the inevitable

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

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    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!

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: OK, then...

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

      Windows 98 Lite ?

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: OK, then...

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

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: OK, then...

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

          I always preferred "Internyet Exploder" myself.

          1. gotes

            Re: OK, then...

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

  5. 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.

  6. JohnFen Silver badge

    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.

  7. Robert E A Harvey

    One word response

    BWAHAHAHAWAHA

  8. LDS Silver badge

    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?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      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.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        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.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          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.

          1. 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.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              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.

    2. 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.

    3. Milton Silver badge

      "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.

      1. Def Silver badge

        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.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge
          Coat

          never going to get fixed

          wash it all away.

      2. rmullen0

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

        Sounds like your problem is that you are viewing, CNN, fake news's website.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      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

    5. BobChip
      Coat

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

      Windows 11 will be based on 7 UI?. Nah. Linux, obviously.

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

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

        I like the idea of windows becoming either just another distro, or possibly just a desktop environment.

        Remember Lindows?

    6. PaxD76

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

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

      Microsoft has always been slow to pivot. Several years ago, a couple of forecasts indicated that tablets would replace laptops. The iPad was selling well at the time too. As a result, the joke that is Metro/Win8 (2012) was born. The mindset still exists in everything they do. "OMG, The Tablets are Coming!"

      It's like their "Get the Facts" FUD campaign against Linux. It just went on and on and on until they came across like doddering old fools yelling at kids to get off their lawn.

  9. Franco Silver badge

    Edge works OK, it's just not compatible with enough things IME. The last 2 desktop image rollouts I've done have been set to use IE, with Chrome as the alternate due to lack of Edge compatibility with addons, intranet sites etc.

    I use Firefox myself most of the time, only ever really have to use IE to access the DRACs and iLOs on old servers that still have the ActiveX versions and even they are getting rarer these days.

  10. DougS Silver badge

    Worst possible outcome

    Like we need to see Chrome become more dominant, and be able to set advertiser friendly web standards that make it harder to protect your personal information while surfing!

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Worst possible outcome

      Chromium and Chrome are different things - Chromium is an open sourced rendering engine, Chrome is just another web browser that users Chromium to render pages. The browsers that use the Chromium engine have a lot of leeway into how the content is managed, presented and filtered.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Worst possible outcome

        Yes, but using the same engine still makes Chrome more dominant, because Google will remain by far the leading contributor to Chromium. They will obviously prioritize implementing stuff that helps steal users data over stuff that helps users preserve their privacy. Will other browsers built in Chromium go out of their way to delete such stuff?

        Would you be this blasé if Apple's WebKit engine was by far dominant among browsers, and they had an inordinate say about what features are added? Instead of being more anti-privacy than I'd like as Google is, Apple might be more pro-DRM than you'd like in the choices they make about what to add to the code base.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Worst possible outcome

          What recent Chromium features are, in your estimation, aimed at stealing more user data? Keep in mind Google tends to push everything onto the standards track, and withdraw stuff that doesn't make it into the specs (e.g., Object.observe, which I actually found useful.)

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Worst possible outcome

      I don't think it helps chrome specifically. Chrome is cross platform and has good windows integration, so it is popular. However, safari is WebKit, konqueror is WebKit, chromium obviously is there on Linux. Brave is also chromium based. All these benefit from being able to render ms server output.

      The question is really around the "extend" phase. Is this going to be a problem or have they just accepted their role as a downloader and are cutting costs?

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Worst possible outcome

        I'm not too worried about "extend" because this isn't a market niche where Microsoft has much market penetration anymore. If they started adding proprietary extensions, very few web devs would actually use them because there's already a rich set of features that's common between Chromium and Firefox.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    The passing of an age

    Edge will be just a mask for Chrome, and Microsoft has stated they have discontinued bad old Internet Exploder, and will finally end all official support for it when Win 10 ends its support cycle.

    So, at long last, my ancient enemy's days are numbered. It will be strange not to have IE to kick around anymore...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The passing of an age

      I don't think they can get rid of IE 11, firstly it's the only browser left that can run Java and secondly there's far too many enterprise websites (i.e. slapped-together crap that has never seen an update) that depend on it.

      They might rename it to Intranet Explorer though...

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: The passing of an age

        I don't think they can get rid of IE 11, firstly it's the only browser left that can run Java and secondly there's far too many enterprise websites (i.e. slapped-together crap that has never seen an update) that depend on it.

        Who in their right mind wants to run Java in a browser ? No, that was not a joke of yours, or you forgot the joke icon .... bollocks, your opinion does not count! As for the proprietary web interfaces, well, congrats, you have learned a lesson today:

        Buying proprietary software is bad, bad, bad!

        When you go shopping for replacements, avoid proprietary software.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: The passing of an age

          It wasn't an opinion. It is a fact that too many corporate apps are stick on IE and the reason they are still stuck is because there is no "next time you buy" in these organisations.

        2. dajames Silver badge

          Re: The passing of an age

          Who in their right mind wants to run Java in a browser ?

          Running applets in a browser was one of the primary uses for which Sun introduced Java, back in the day. The browser was supposed to contain a bytecode interpreter (NOT a JIT compiler) that could check the Java code for correctness as it ran (rather than making vague guesses about what the code would do at JIT time and then letting it run natively without a sandbox), and this was supposed to lead to a more secure (and platform independent) way of delivering active content than the alternative technology available at the time -- ActiveX.

          The reason nobody in their right mind runs Java in the browser today has more to do with the terrible quality of all the implementations of Java in the browser than any inherent unsuitability of Java for that purpose.

          I'd certainly far rather see Java running in a good, secure, bug-free implementation of a browser-based JVM than active content delivered using the train-wreck that is JavaScript!

          Java's not the problem here -- it may not be the language that does the most to encourage safe programming, but it'll do -- the problem lies in its implementation.

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: The passing of an age

          You're confusing me explaining the way things currently are with my support or otherwise for it.

          If MS were to drop IE then there'd be less tethering enterprises to MS, therefore they won't drop it.

    2. TheGreatCabbage

      Re: The passing of an age

      "...when Win 10 ends its support cycle"

      What happened to Windows 10 being the "last version of Windows"? :-/

    3. Fuzz

      Re: The passing of an age

      IE11 is the browser in Server 2019 no edge due to no support for UWP.

      That means it'll be supported for at least another 10 years. As this new Edge will be Win32 I guess it might show up in the next release of Windows Server.

  12. Wade Burchette

    Lipstick on a pig

    Going to the Chromium engine will not solve the fundamental flaws in Edge, specifically (1) an illogical and confusing UI; (2) a reboot required for updates; (3) add-ons require the app store. I reject Edge, not because of its engine, but because I find it difficult to use. In fact, I do not care about the rendering engine, at all. And I do not want to care.

    What is more, the browser and the OS should be completely separate. This way I can uninstall it if I wish (and I only will so long as the UI continues to be stupid) and updates can happen without using Windows Update or requiring a restart.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Lipstick on a pig

      actually, Lipstick on a BOAR, and NOT the on the end that goes 'oink'. implications obvious.

      "updates can happen without using Windows Update or requiring a restart."

      Although I could never think of a reason as to why windows update requires reboots for things like browser updates, I'm SURE they'll figure SOME reason [and always require a reboot].

      A big part of this is the way windows handles files. In the POSIX world, a file is simply an inode, and if you replace it with a new one, with the exception of 'certain semantics', the inode for the OLD file is STILL THERE (as long as the file remains open) and can be used by already-running applications [assuming it's executable or a shared lib]. In windows, apparently the directory entry IS the file, and not merely a pointer to it [for all practical purposes] and so a replaced EXE or DLL *must* require a reboot and copy-on-boot post-install crap.

      There are a lot of OTHER things windows does poorly (compared to POSIX systems) but this is the one that requires rebooting on EVERY! STINKING! UPDATE! like that...

  13. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "work with anything other than Chromium"

    Dear Mozilla,

    Here's the problem, see. I was running Firefox ESR 52.9.0, and I was running that version for a very good reason, when all of a sudden it automagically crapped itself by "updating" to that Quantum garbage that breaks absolutely every extension I depend on, despite the fact that I explicitly disabled updates.

    This "update by stealth" crap is exactly the sort of shenanigans we expect from Microsoft, not Mozilla.

    But despite my better judgement, I gave you the benefit of the doubt, and decided to at least try your Quantum garbage for a while, replacing my ten million now incompatible extensions with alternatives where available. Maybe I'm just being a Luddite, I thought. Maybe I don't really need all those extensions. Maybe there are real benefits to Quantum that I'm just too stupid to understand. Let's find out.

    So I stripped every trace of Firefox ESR from my system, including all my profile data, and just let you install whatever experimental junk you demanded, i.e. the latest "stable" version of Quantum, then started with a virgin profile, ready for you to command.

    That's when I found out.

    What I found out is that the one site that represents probably 99% of my online activity, YouTube, caused Quantum to freeze so hard that penguins began sliding out of the back of my PC. It froze so solid I had to do a hard reset. Every time. Without fail. Including after several more "updates". This was before I even installed any extensions. Other sites fared just as poorly. Anything with more than a couple of graphic elements on the page lagged to the point of being unusable. Tabs were completely unresponsive. I was opening up to a "Firefox crashed" dialogue every launch. It was a total clusterfsck.

    For a brief moment there I was tempted to go full tilt Google slut and install Chrome. But I had a better plan. I wiped Quantum and re-installed ESR 52.9.0, then used the sledgehammer approach to force Firefox to never update ever again, using SysInternals' psexec to launch cmd as user SYSTEM, took full ownership of %AppData%\Local\Mozilla\updates, then removed all permissions to read, write, or even glance in the general direction of that directory forever.

    This is the real reason that nobody gives a damn if anything works with anything other than Chrome. Your "release early, release often, break always" policy sucks.

    Fuck you very much,

    Love, Homer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh Homer - Re: "work with anything other than Chromium"

      Sorry to get you down from your high horses but I've been using the Mozilla browser exclusively since it was called Phoenix (for version 0.5, see https://website-archive.mozilla.org/www.mozilla.org/firefox_releasenotes/en-US/firefox/releases/0.5.html ). During all these years it was configured for manual update and it never happened to update against my will, ever. Also, even if I was always using the beta version it never crashed my computer (not even when I was running good old Windows 98 in those days) although I must admit I was and I still am very conservative when it comes to installing plugins.

      We're impressed with your technical prowess but manual update does what it says it will do.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Oh Homer - "work with anything other than Chromium"

        Yep. Been using Firefox for ages now exclusively, current versions seem very good. Waaaaay better than Chrome(ium) on things like memory consumption, doing the things I want it to do, etc. Certainly not had any issues with it freezing up with YouTube....

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Oh Homer - "work with anything other than Chromium"

          >> user@host:~$ apt-mark showhold

          >> firefox-esr

          >> thunderbird

          >> user@host:~$

          ...just sayin'.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: "work with anything other than Chromium"

      You've been played by Google.

      There's an old CSS call which everybody agreed was depreciated. Browser makers therefore didn't waste time on optimising it, except for Google who optimised it on Chrome and made YouTube's design call it a lot.

      In other words Google are using their web properties to push people towards their browser.

      The solution for Firefox is an extension which makes YouTube use the old page design which doesn't have this CSS call.

      1. jeffdyer

        Re: "work with anything other than Chromium"

        Anyone who writes "depreciated" immediately loses any credibility.

        1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

          Re: "work with anything other than Chromium"

          >depreciated

          It's not like they said "leverage"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "work with anything other than Chromium"

      Having experienced some problems with IE11 (or the websites coding for IE11, or whatever), I installed Firefox as a secondary option on a couple of colleagues machines.

      And I looked on it and it was good. So I thought about adding it to other machines and looked at Firefox support for the "business" end of things.

      Group Policy support? Ting. Well nearly - you can control some aspects but the rest require a custom configuration file

      Install from network using group policy and msi package? Seems not. Custom MST if you roll your own. After installing this program and that program.

      And I just went to check what I was saying was still true. Mozilla asks to survey my opinion but email is required. So that feedback went out the window.

  14. redpawn Silver badge

    This will save Edge

    Mac users don't have a browser which is only useful to download a preferred browser. That is unless you count Safari.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: This will save Edge

      That's because Safari, unlike Edge, can sometimes be useful.

      Not often, I'll give you that. But every so often there's a site that makes everything else go "wibble"...

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: This will save Edge

        Safari is the Toyota Yaris rental car of browsers. It's a bit slow, there aren't many fancy options, and I wouldn't want to drive it every day, but it gets me where I'm going reliably in a pinch.

      2. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        Re: This will save Edge

        "Not often, I'll give you that. But every so often there's a site that makes everything else go "wibble"..."

        Those would be written by Devs who work exclusively on Mac's and don't think to test on other browsers/OSs.

        Remember the "best viewed in" crap from yester year?

  15. John Savard Silver badge

    Wondering

    Does this mean that Chromium is on a BSD license instead of a GNU license? Or is Microsoft paying money to Alphabet to get a commercial license?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Wondering

      LetMeWikiThatForYOu

      "The Google-authored portion of Chromium is released under the BSD license,[20] with other parts being subject to a variety of different open-source licenses, including the MIT License, the LGPL, the Ms-PL and an MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license.[21]"

    2. Jonathon Desmond

      Re: Wondering

      A quick glance at the github mirror appears to show that it uses the three clause BSD license.

      FWIW, Wikipedia (I know!) waffles on about Chromium Browser being “tri-licenced”, including MIT and BSD.

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Good news for Linux

    Since the browser is a core part of the operating system and can't be separated from it - Microsoft will have to switch to the Linux kernel.

    For the young reader (there must be one)

    Microsoft argues DOJ's request for new court order shows that internet explorer is an integrated feature of windows

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Good news for Linux

      At the time they were sort of right. Sort of. A fair number of things depended on IE's rendering engine. That didn't require the whole browser, but it did require some of its DLLs. This was something of a circular situation though; because IE couldn't be uninstalled, software would quietly rely on it because it had to be there, which meant you couldn't uninstall it without breaking things...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So hows that going to work with DRM? e.g. Netflix 4K

    1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

      "So hows that going to work with DRM? e.g. Netflix 4K"

      Same way it currently does for Chrome, except with a different implementation of the DRM bit.

  18. chuBb.

    Sneaky

    Wonder what that will do to the various anti trust cases around bundled browsers, has ms just manouvered them selves out of the firing line with a talk to Google as the response...

    That and opera bloke will now be winging about lack of diversity

    Ah well guess that's the cost of a consistent box model and one less set of browser specific css hacks, poly fills and other normalisation chod. Actually that could have quite a dramatic impact if the ie/edge cruft gets stripped from bootstrap etc.

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    MS Edge? What's that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >MS Edge? What's that?

      A failed attempt by MS to take on Google only to come away with yet another severe beating (q.v. Bing)

      1. kat_bg

        Edge will live on (albeit with a different underframe...) As for Bing, was it killed recently and never heard it? Not that I care too much.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    global internet users who favor Edge

    i.e. those who don't know how to change default browser

  21. NeilPost

    IE12

    Internet Explorer 12 anyone... is that next????

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Michael Habel Silver badge

    So

    Did the MicroSoft Elevs repeal, and replace the bits of Spyware that would have gone to Google, to be henceforth routed to Redmond instead?

    If this is what Innovation at MicroSoft looks like post 2018, then the fall should thankfully come soon. I mean how freaking hard is it to make your own Browser?

    Let me put it another way... If I had happened to want to use Chrome on a non-mobile Device, than I would already be running Chrome. But, than I'm not particularly partial to Edge either, as no Windows 7 version of it exists, and Win X.x is never going to be an option till End level Win X becomes not the exception, but the norm.

    Till then I'll run down the clock on Win VII, and then will most likely migrate to some Debian based Linux Distro. Where I can continue to use Palemoon.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So

      If you are using Windows on a PC Microsoft could not give a float underflow about you

      They make their money from corporate Office365+Sharepoint and Cloud

      Anything that makes it 0.1% more difficult to migrate work away from AWS or Google cloud to Azure because some admin tool works better in Chrome could cost them $$$$$

  23. David Gosnell

    Windows 10S

    They'll no doubt be hoping this will help promote locked-down desktop ecosystems like Windows 10S, with monetisation being a spin-off (if not primary) benefit. With the shift towards so much being browser-based these days, that will suit most non-power users, but relying on their buggy and inconsistent (speaking as a suffering developer) proprietary engine was a major hindrance for take-up and demanded the one-off convert-to-Pro backstop offered to customers unwitting enough to fall for 10S thus far. They'll be able to push it much more confidently now, for better or worse.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been using Chromium for ages..

    .. because I wasn't going to agree to Google's T&Cs and their hooks in the code to use Chrome..

  25. cat_mara
    Facepalm

    The main reason I didn't use Edge

    ... was not any perceived deficiency in its rendering engine (it seemed adequate the brief times I've used it) but because its developers had, in the name of "minimalism", pared back its user interface to the point of outright hostility. Pulling stunts like taking the "back" and "forward" items off the context menu where they've been in every browser since Mosaic & where over 2 decades of muscle memory tells me they are-- ooh, how Edge-y! I'm sure there's an extension in the Windows Store to put them back but, frankly, why bother? Might as well just download another browser that isn't cargo-culting its user experience to this extent-- yes, they all do it, but this is taking the Michael to whole new levels.

    Now, they're moving to the Blink rendering engine but promising to keep the same hostile UI?! Talk about comically missing the point.

  26. trevorde

    Progress?

    The browser is the new operating system.

    Developers still have to test on all supported (versions of) browsers. Some large organisations are on a fixed version of a browser for several years. Browsers have regressions and inconsistent support for 'standards'.

    Chrome is now the dominant browser ie same as Windows on the desktop.

    We are really no better off.

  27. Benchops

    Quite happy with NCSA Mosaic thank you very much.

  28. JDX Gold badge

    "standards compliance?"

    Last time I dipped my toe in web-dev, code was full of browser-specific checks even for the most standards-compliant ones... because they use un-ratified standards and additional features. I can't remember if these were chromium or webkit but it was a mess and that was without IE kludges.

    One possible downside of a monoculture is that Chromium becomes the de facto standard and they just implement what they want. Not unlike MS in the IE6 era.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: "standards compliance?"

      I hate sites that insist on checking your browser then moaning about how its not a "supported" browser. As a user of Pale Moon, I get that a lot unless I spoof a Chrome/Firefox user agent. Then guess what? The site renders fine. If web developers could try detecting what features a browser supports instead of a blanket probe of "If its not a recent version of a major browser then moan", there'd be more instinct for smaller browsers/forks to flourish. As it is, too many big sites try to punish everyone who isn't using one of the top few browsers and its bloody annoying!

  29. Charles Calthrop

    don't get me wrong. I don't like IE, and that's putting it mildly. I was a front end dev in IE 6 days, for instance. But I do kind of think it's a shame that it's all getting steamrollered into one. Loads of standards compliant browsers would have been much better than just 1 or 2

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Do you realize how hard it is to get something to work in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, and IE, already ? Then you have the mobile versions that AGAIN behave differently ... we already have "Loads of standards compliant browsers" and they are a nightmare for webdevs!

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Its easy to get a site to work in all browsers ... You just need to not have over the top JS and (to a lesser extent CSS) usage.

        KISS philosophy works well on websites, problem is sites that pull in hundreds of K of JS cruft to give bells & whistles that marketing want but serve little key functional purpose (just make things slower & less likely to work on all browsers!)

      2. Charles Calthrop

        let the downvotes begin, but I would rather we have loads of browsers and webdevs had to do more work, than make google anymore dominant than it already is. See for instance that interesting post up there about youtube css.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next step, do the same for Windows

    I think the only way the Windows 10 trainwreck can be averted at this stage is if Microsoft does similar for the entire OS. Replace traditional Windows with a Linux based OS and legacy compatibility layer.

    Microsoft has the internal knowledge to develop a proprietary wrapper with higher compatibility than Wine (or provide a set of stripped down Windows 10, XP, 98 cores in a sandbox) to give business customers the best compatibility with older software ever, and this active catastrophe we have right now can be buried for good. Would not even be too difficult to port over things like the Windows Store for said distribution as the 'Modern' applications are already a new layer on top of Windows that could run in their own sandbox.

    That would even fulfil the promise of Windows 10 being the last real Windows. I say this as a Windows user from the days of 3.11, the current product has fallen off the rails and is becoming offensive to use. Starting afresh upon reliable technology would be both a cost saver (a lot of the work is being done by the community) and improve the user experience (better update systems are already in place) there must be some people are Microsoft who recognize this as a valid choice, or we wouldn't see what we're seeing here with Edge / Chromium.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Next step, do the same for Windows

      "Microsoft has the internal knowledge to develop a proprietary wrapper with higher compatibility than Wine"

      Are you sure ? Didn't they admit Samba was more maintainable than the windows code ?

      Maybe they'd build a compatibility layer around Wine, rather than instead of it.

      I don't much like Satnad's slurpy habits but he seems to be more pragmatic and less religious than his predecessors.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Next step, do the same for Windows

      I think you will find that a surprisingly high number of Win32 apps have some underlying dependence on the kernel being Windowsy rather than Linuxy. There are *many* services in Windows that are used explicitly by apps, and there are IOCTLs that are used for rare but essential functions, and there is the whole issue of legal filenames and cases sensitivity.

      Now you could create some sort of sandbox, with a limited view of the underlying OS, but the end-user experience might be no better than running Windows in a VM.

  31. Rich 2
    WTF?

    Chrome

    Can someone tell me why the whole world has flocked to Google's Chrome browser?

    After all the noise about data slurping etc etc, I am at a loss as to why anyone would want to use it?

    (I appreciate Chromium isn't Chrome, but the latter is the main user of the former)

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Chrome

      This puzzles me too. I avoided it initially just because I hated the tab layout (firefox's was nicer .. until they copied chrome) but I found lots of experimental stuff that used it because it had the latest bells and whistles, like webgl.

      Unfortunately, devs started using it for real work instead of playtime, and google tried hard to make most of the alternatives work badly with gmail etc. And so it got used more commonly.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Chrome

      1. When it first came out, it was faster than anything else. It long ago lost that edge, but that got its foot in the door.

      2. It came out at a time when Firefox had only just emerged from the ashes of Netscape, and Opera was beginning to feel pretty creaky. It shook up the field.

      3. It went to a multi-process architecture early, which made it more stable than competing browsers. The idea that you could use a browser all day and not have it crash out was revolutionary.

      3. It offered really good dev tools. Firefox's have caught up, but for a while nothing had anything quite like Chrome.

      The data slurping became a concern later. Keep in mind some of what gets filed as "slurping" is optional stuff people actually like, like bookmark sync between systems (which Firefox has added too, now.)

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Chrome

      Because G paid lots of crapware devs to bundle it, and those malware pushers pre-ticked the "install Chrome" box.

  32. Jove Bronze badge

    What is Microsoft's Value-Add?

    As it adopts more packages developed externally, and does little substantive testing of it's products, is it not time that all those paying for the expensive licenses start asking what they are paying for?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always seemed like Edge was a great name because whatever you really needed was coming soon but not yet :)

  34. Blank Reg

    Good for memory makers

    Since Chrome is such a memory hog.

    I switch off Firefox when it became slow and flaky, then switched from Chrome to Edge because Chrome had become bloated. And now Edge will be just as bloated as Chrome, consuming much more memory and spawning endless processes.

    Maybe Opera next.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Good for memory makers

      Opera just uses Chromium these days too. As does Vivaldi.

      Basically if you want to browse the Internet in 2019, you will have to use the bloated garbage from Google, or write your own. (Something I would quite happily do if I had the time.)

  35. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Bloatware

    If Microturd really wanted to make peoples lives a little less stressed, they could stop defaulting their web browsers homepage to the over bloated msn.com page.

    If Microturd are to learn anything useful from Google, it is this, minimalism

    As someone who has to interact with fresh Windows builds daily, this small act of kindness will make mine and millions of others lives a little easier.

    If Microturd would like to contact me for more sound advice in software design, I am willing to offer my services for free, because nobody should have to suffer Microturds brainfarts any longer

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Bloatware

      That and not having the cretinous, and cretinously annoying, cortana "assistant" rubbish shout at you on every clean install. It's not necessary, it's never necessary and most of all has no part in being in the clean install process. Every time it involves trying to hit the mute on the keyboard as quick as possible...

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Bloatware

      Google isn't minimalist any more. The page might look free of junk but it's full of animations and other unnecessary crap.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Bloatware

        Yes, but unlike MSN, I can't go get a cup of coffee while it finishes loading. Having to wait for the browser to become responsive every time I want to quickly visit a URL is annoying.

  36. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Why not just kill it?

    I'm serious.

    The only good reason for Edge was that it levers the rendering engine built into Windows. It's not perfect, but it does an OK job.

    Without Edge, no reason for Flash to come so heavily pre-installed that removing it causes Windows Update to have a hissy fit.

    And let's face it, if they're using the Chrome rendering engine under the hood then... what's the point of Edge even existing at all? If it's just a wrapper round Chrome, why not just pre-install Chrome and be done with it?

  37. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Doesn't Windows still have an FTP client?

    Remember the old days when you used an FTP client to download Netscape? That's all we really need to download Firefox. They don't have to build an entire browser just to download another browser.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't Windows still have an FTP client?

      powershell script:

      Import-Module BitsTransfer;

      Start-BitsTransfer 'https://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox-stub&os=win&lang=en-US' 'firefox_installer.exe'

      & ".\firefox_installer.exe"

      Enjoy.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS have not yet confirmed rumours that the new Edge is to be renamed...

    ..."Bono".

  39. dnicholas Bronze badge

    You must have to have quite the sense of humour to be a Microsoft browser developer

  40. rmullen0

    Edge reset Adblock Plus settings

    Does anyone else have he problem where Edge keeps resetting Adblock Plus settings? I have this on several computers. It's been going on for awhile now and is very annoying. I'm wondering if it's just me. I'm wondering if something got corrupted in my profile. However, as I mentioned, it's a problem on several computers. My suspicion has been that Microsoft is intentionally trying to make it not work.

  41. rmullen0

    Does this mean you will be able to do simple things like backup your favorites?

    I thought it was pathetically lame that Edge changed how Favorites are stored and basically obfuscated and hid them so that you can't back them up. I liked IE better where they were just files in the file system. Apparently something so simple is no longer fashionable.

  42. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    Knowing Microsoft just decided to slap their paint job on Big Brother's software creeps me out.

  43. unimaginative

    People seem to be confused by who wrote what code, what it does, and how it is licensed.

    Chromium is an open source web browser developed by Google. Chrome is just a version with some Google proprietary code added.

    Chromium itself is MIT licensed, but it uses the Blink rendering engine.

    Blink is a fork of Apple's Webkit which is itself a fork of KDE's KHTML. As KHTML is LGPL licensed, its forks are also LGPL licensed.

    So this means that MS is incorporating LGPL code (which according to previous MS CEOs is "cancer" and "un-American" ) originally written for Linux and Unix desktops into Windows.

  44. Dwarf Silver badge

    Full of shit

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

    One of those audiences may be macOS users, who despite not clamoring for Edge should have access to Microsoft's browser at some point: Belfiore said the company expects to bring Edge to other platforms like macOS.

    Translation - our browser is shit, but we have plans to push it onto other platforms anyhow.

    So, how about you fix your own platform before you try and screw up other ones ?

    For clarity, I mean the whole platform, not just the browser, look objectively at the browser, Skype and Windows 10 to name but 3

    Don’t forget that all OS’s already have a choice of good and reliable browsers, it’s just that none of them have Microosoft logos on them. Do you really expect that people will want to pollute their already working platform with a runt of the litter browser from Microsoft.

    Then I see the author name at MS and realise that they have been spouting crap for years.

  45. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    rOS

    But will it run under ReactOS?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome Spell Checker

    From: Satya Nadella

    Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:29 AM

    To: Microsoft – All Employees; All MS Store Employees FTE

    Subject: Embracing our future: Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge

    Team,

    Today, I’m announcing the formation of two new engineering teams to accelerate our innovation and better serve the needs of our customers and partners long into the future.

    Over the past year, we have shared our vision for how the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will shape the next phase of innovation. First, computing is more powerful and ubiquitous from the cloud to the edge. Second, AI capabilities are rapidly advancing across perception and cognition fueled by data and knowledge of the world. Third, physical and virtual worlds are coming together to create richer experiences that understand the context surrounding people, the things they use, the places they go, and their activities and relationships.

    Clearly didnt run the Chrome spelling check, fueled is spelled with two L's (Fuelled).

  47. MAH

    I'm confused why Microsoft would develop their own browser yet again anyhow? I am sure that google would pay Microsoft money to put their version of the browser on every PC by default instead of IE/Edge and Microsoft could still insist the default search engine be bing....

    they would then make money without expending any money and still keep their own search engine alive...

  48. Slions

    Edge today can play DAZN smoothly

    Vivaldi and Chrome, both chromium based, have some bad micro suttering when playing DAZN streams. I wonder how am I gonna watch my football once Edge joins the suttering crowed. The one good thing about Edge is that it's optimized for Windows. Now they want to take that away to make it multiplatform. Not such a good idea. I ought to try DAZN on IE.

  49. Tree
    Pirate

    Want to be tracked?

    Microsoft really wants to track you. So does Gurgle. Use PaleMoon browser.

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