In other words, Internet Explorer’s legacy has finally expired and responses of jubilation and hesitance were expressed by the internet.
Here’s Microsoft’s explanation about why it’s making this change:
“We will evolve the Microsoft Edge app architecture, enabling distribution to all supported versions of Windows including Windows 7 and Windows 8, as well as Windows 10. We will also bring Microsoft Edge to other desktop platforms, such as macOS. Improving the web experience for end users (better compatibility) and developers (less fragmentation) requires a consistent web-platform as widely available as possible. To accomplish this, we will use Chromium’s cross-platform app-technology along with a change in our distribution model, so that the Microsoft Edge experience and web-platform become available across all supported operating systems.”
This change for Microsoft will propel the web into a first class experience for the industry and a better experience for internet users who may not have the control of which browser they’re using.
Microsoft’s change will be contributing to the absolute best way to building cross-platform apps on a scale that has never been seen before.
In the past, Microsoft and Apple have had their separate web platforms. However, according to Owen Williams’ article in Charged, this “move changes everything about that equation. Microsoft can bake Chromium into Windows and the Edge browser at the core, which means it’ll be possible to embed a first-class experience in any app with a native Windows-Chromium view, and it’s porting it to MacOS.”
“Outside the Microsoft Edge browser, users of other browsers on Windows PCs sometimes face inconsistent feature-sets and performance/battery-life across device types. Some browsers have had slower-progress to embrace new Windows capabilities like touch and ARM processors. As you know, we’ve recently started making contributions that provide these types of hardware support to Chromium-based browsers, and we believe that this approach can be generalized,” according to Microsoft’s publication.
However, Microsoft’s change may reduce the number of engines on the web and according to Mozilla’s CEO less choice hurts us all, “Google is so close to almost complete control of the infrastructure of our online lives that it may not be profitable to continue to fight this. […] From a social, civic and individual empowerment perspective ceding control of fundamental online infrastructure to a single company is terrible.”
Williams says, “It’s true that less choice is bad and may even hurt alternate browsers like Firefox, but it’s difficult to justify Microsoft continuing down the path of building a dedicated browser that nobody really wanted to use. This time is different because Chromium is an open source project, with multiple contributors already, so Microsoft throwing its weight behind the standard may actually encourage better collaboration on the project rather than leaving it to Google alone.”