Microsoft to start using Google's Chromium for their Edge browser

(Simon B) #1

Now here’s something interesting.

Back when Microsoft still had a mobile platform (the ill-fated Windows Phone) they regularly seemed to be at odds with Google, as a competitor.

Since then, and with Satya Nadella as CEO, they are now embracing Google, which is amazing to see. And this is another important step in that relationship - Microsoft is going to be rebuilding it’s own browser using Chromium - Google’s open source code that powers Chrome. It also means they can bring the browser to MacOS :grinning:

(Adam Williams) #2

This is unfortunate. As much as I disliked Trident and EdgeHTML/Spartan (less so) from a development perspective, having more rendering engines was always a good thing and encouraged web applications to be built that were standards compliant and not locked to working in one particular browser.

In terms of security and interoperability, I’m not sure this is something to really celebrate.

(Simon B) #3

Isn’t that the point of Chromium being open source though? Other browsers, like Amazon Silk and Opera are also based on Chromium. And Mozilla still have their own thing going on with Firefox. I guess, like many things, it becomes a two-horse race.

Have you been testing in Chromium, Trident, and Mozilla up until this point?

(Adam Williams) #4

I don’t personally really see much value in having a bunch of different browser ‘skins’ that all use the same underlying rendering engine. There’s not much room for innovation there.

It’s great that Blink is open source, but I’m not sure how open source and malleable the road-map is compared to e.g. Gecko. Generally web features and standard are implemented/proposed because Google has an interest in them. This often overlaps with things that other developers have an interest in too, but not always. Sometimes implementing such features has unintended consequences.

Not Trident - but generally yeah, at work it’s normally a case of supporting EdgeHTML (Edge), Blink (Chrome), Gecko (Firefox) and also WebKit (Safari). These are tested via BrowserStack if not available natively (Safari on Mac).

Safari and Edge are usually the two most annoying browsers to try and support, with Safari the biggest pain (iFrame sizing is awful, and it lags well behind on newer web features like WebAssembly.instantiateStreaming). I don’t think I’d be doing my job properly if I just ignored them and didn’t make an effort, though. Maybe if you’re publishing an Electron app you can justify not bothering cross-browser testing but if you’re releasing a web app it’s poor.

I’ve dealt with enough apps that generally leave my platform (Firefox/Linux) out in the cold to be frustrated by this. For a long time, Google never bothered supporting Hangouts/Allo for Web/Google Meet/Google Earth/YouTube TV on Firefox. Netflix still serves me degraded quality content despite paying for a 4k plan. It’s not like the web platform features were missing for a lot of those either, I can only assume it was laziness.

(Andre Borie) #5

I’m disappointed they didn’t end up just using Firefox’s rendering engine instead. Firefox is lagging behind the times (thanks to Mozilla’s stupid ideas like Pocket and other garbage instead of focusing on their core product) and could’ve used the help.


Geko is in a transition stage, they may not have wanted to use it because there’s to many moving parts, or they decided blink is just better.

Really you need the rendering engine to be consistent and the same across all browsers, if people can’t keep up with their own or it’s not cost effective then use what’s good.