moscardino.net

Edge Goes Chromium

After some rumors started circulating that Microsoft was going to drop EdgeHTML, the engine behind the Edge browser, in favor of Chromium, the core browser Google Chrome is based on, Microsoft went ahead and confirmed it. EdgeHTML will be phased out and Edge will become a Chromium browser.

The responses from the web dev community have been mixed, as they will and should be. Mozilla, in particular, is not very happy, and for good reason.

I think this was probably the best decision for Microsoft, and maybe the best decision for users, but almost definitely the wrong decision for the web at-large.

The problem was simple: Edge wasn’t that good. It was way better than IE before it, but Microsoft simply could not keep up with the relentless pace of Google. So they were put in a hard place. They could keep trying, fall further behind, and be labeled as a failure. Or they could throw in the towel, be labeled as a failure, but at least provide a better experience to users. I think they made the right decision for them and their users.

Unfortunately, for the web, this is probably a horrible thing since it means the vast majority of web users will be using Google’s engine. Mozilla says it pretty well:

From a social, civic and individual empowerment perspective ceding control of fundamental online infrastructure to a single company is terrible.

It remains to be seen how much of a check Microsoft will be on Google, but I would not hold out hope for miracles. Instead, try out Firefox. I’ve been using it instead of Edge for the last few months and have found it to be almost on par with Chrome in terms of performance. Mozilla has made huge strides in modernizing and improving it and it is well worth a look.