Microsoft is working on a new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge that will replace the current version of Edge that uses Microsoft’s own rendering engine in the near future.
The move is a double-sided sword for Microsoft and the Internet community as a whole. It certainly has advantages for Microsoft such as better web compatibility, faster integration of new technologies or features, and an option to shift or free up development resources.
Downsides are that it benefits Microsoft’s rival Google, as Google is more or less in control of development, and that it could lead to a web that is focused on Chromium features and optimizations.
How successful will the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser be?
One question that is of interest to a lot of users and companies is how successful the new Edge browser will be.
Bogdan Popa over at Softpedia thinks that the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser could be bigger than Google Chrome based on feature-parity with Chrome, cross-platform availability of the browser, and that Edge is backed up by Windows.
Let’s take a look at these quickly:
- Feature-parity with Chrome — Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium just like Google Chrome is. While that means that both browsers have the same base, it is not certain that all Chrome features will land in Edge or vice versa. Microsoft Edge will support Chrome extensions and Edge-specific extensions, a huge advantage over the current Edge browser. Feature-parity may not be enough to convince Chrome users to give Edge a try or even make it the default browser, especially if they are invested in the Google ecosystem.
- Cross-platform availability — The current version of Microsoft Edge is only available for Windows 10 and Android / iOS. Availability for other platforms, Windows 7 and 8.1, Mac OS X, and Linux, will make the browser more attractive to cross-platform users and users on these platforms; this certainly has the potential to improve Edge’s market share.
- Windows platform — Windows is the most widely used desktop operating system. The old Microsoft Edge could not really benefit from that and it is questionable if the new Edge will do better. Microsoft could push it more vehemently and that would certainly help.
One of the main advantages of the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is better web standards compatibility and faster integration of new features thanks to the Chromium source. Users who try Edge will run into fewer issues when using the browser compared to the classic Edge version and that may have a positive effect on user retention.
Support for currently unsupported operating systems should have a positive effect on the browser’s market share especially on the Windows platform. Customers can sync data between different operating systems and mobile applications finally.
Microsoft could use, or abuse, the Windows platform to push Microsoft Edge and increase the market share that way. It seems likely that users of Windows will be informed about the browser change in one way or another.
It is almost certain in my opinion that the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser will do better than the current Edge browser. It seems very unlikely, however, that the new Edge will surpass Chrome any time soon unless Microsoft is pushing the browser forcefully on the Windows platform.
Microsoft may have Firefox in sight as its first goal so that Edge becomes the second most used browser on the desktop platform.
Now You: Where do you see the Chromium-based Edge browser one year after release?
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