Microsoft Confirms Edge Browser Coming to Older Windows and Mac

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It is official, the Chromium browser engine will be used by Microsoft for Edgein the desktop version.

On Thursday Microsoft said that its Edge browser, which was introduced in 2015 as part of Windows 10, will be coming to the Mac as part of a broader rethinking of the company's browser strategy. Chrome has become a new IE6, and web developers have always preferred to use their rendering engine to optimize their websites.

However, it appears that we may all just end up winning from this because new reports reveal that Microsoft is willing to put their knowledge of Windows integration and engineering prowess to good use by making the entire Chromium open-source platform a better experience.

With this change, Microsoft aims to make sure that its Edge web platform is compatible with other web standards and Chromium-based browsers. In the meantime, the company said it plans to become a bigger contributor to Google's Chromium project, which is open source. To reach more people, Microsoft plans to expand Edge beyond Windows 10 to Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and MacOS, and will update the browser more frequently. We do expect to offer a new WebView that apps can choose to use based on the new rendering engine.

Web developers have the most to gain. Adopting Edge, in turn, means that there will be a lot of power consumption and a downgrade in speed. For years, Microsoft has been marketing the product as a competitive alternative to Google's Chrome. Chrome, in contrast, has close to 49 percent, while Apple's Safari has 32 percent of the market. That's what happened when Microsoft had a monopoly on browsers in the early 2000s before Firefox was released. They have already done this on Android and iOS where EdgeHTML has been replaced with Blink and Webkit.

Belfiore frames the decision to move forward in browser development with Chromium in pragmatic terms. The development of Chromium is mostly led by Google engineers, as well as other open source contributors.

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"Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences", stated Joe Belfiore, the Corporate Vice President for Windows, in a blog post.

Mozilla, whose Firefox offering is among the world's top three Web browsers, believes that the change could undermine the independence of the Internet by providing Google with even greater power.

"This just increases the importance of Mozilla's role as the only independent choice".

Mozilla, the non-profit behind the Firefox browser, is deeply anxious about Microsoft's recent move, and the inevitable prospect of handing more of the Internet to Google.

"Google's dominance across search, advertising, smartphones, and data capture creates a vastly tilted playing field that works against the rest of us", he added.

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