Microsoft confirmed the rumors that their Edge browser, the default web browser of Windows 10, will move to a Chromium-compatible web engine in the Desktop version.
Microsoft explains that behind this move is their intention to create better web compatibility for customers and less fragmentation for web developers. Microsoft is already made a number of contributions to the Chromium project, helping to port the project to Windows on ARM.
The key aspects of the upcoming changes are as follows.
1. We will move to a Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop. Our intent is to align the Microsoft Edge web platform simultaneously (a) with web standards and (b) with other Chromium-based browsers. This will deliver improved compatibility for everyone and create a simpler test-matrix for web developers.
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2. 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. Improving the web-platform experience for both end users and developers requires that the web platform and the browser be consistently available to as many devices as possible. To accomplish this, we will evolve the browser code more broadly, so that our distribution model offers an updated Microsoft Edge experience + platform across all supported versions of Windows, while still maintaining the benefits of the browser’s close integration with Windows.
3. We will contribute web platform enhancements to make Chromium-basedbrowsers better on Windows devices. Our philosophy of greater participation in Chromium open source will embrace contribution of beneficial new tech, consistent with some of the work we described above. We recognize that making the web better on Windows is good for our customers, partners and our business – and we intend to actively contribute to that end.
At this moment, Microsoft is not going to discontinue EdgeHTML and Chakra, the company's in-house engines for JS and content rendering, since both are heavily used in UWP/Store apps. But in the future, Microsoft will switch to the Chromium engine for web views too.
As you may already know, Chromium is an open-source version of Google Chrome, that doesn't include certain proprietary components. Its rendering engine, Blink, along with other technologies, is widely used as a base for many other modern browsers, including Vivaldi and Opera.