Microsoft's Desktop Edge Browser is Shifting to the Chromium Browser Engine for Windows and eventually macOS
On Tuesday Patently Apple was early on the news that Microsoft could Dump Edge for a Chromium Based Browser. This morning Microsoft made it official in a press release titled "Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration."
Microsoft stated that for the past few years, Microsoft has meaningfully increased participation in the open source software (OSS) community, becoming one of the world’s largest supporters of OSS projects.
Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.
As part of this, we intend to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge — but other browsers as well — better on both PCs and other devices.
More specifically, Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence. We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS.
Microsoft hopes to have a preview release for early 2019. Microsoft has been pushing hard for their fan base on iOS devices to adopt Edge, so changing course to have a compatible version of their browser for the Mac only makes sense.
A Google spokesperson welcomed the news by stating that "Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors. We look forward to working with Microsoft and the web standards community to advance the open web, support user choice and deliver great browsing experiences."
Chris Beard, CEO of the Mozilla Corporation who developed the Firefox browser, said in a statement today that "From a social, civic and individual empowerment perspective ceding control of fundamental online infrastructure to a single company is terrible." You could read his full response here.
At present, there's been no official comment from Apple or their executives on this development