Microsoft is reportedly killing Windows 10’s default browser, Microsoft Edge. The browser, first launched in 2015 along with Windows 10, struggled to get much traction, and continues to scramble with stability issues to date.
Killing Edge and its rendering engine, EdgeHTML, will mean Microsoft will need to build something new for Windows 10. And it’s apparently building a new Chromium-based browser to replace Edge, according to Windows Central.
The product, currently codenamed Anaheim, will be based on Google’s Chromium browser. The new browser will practically be the same as Google Chrome, and likely include heavy Microsoft-flavoured customization and integration for Microsoft’s services and Microsoft Accounts.
Moving away from EdgeHTML, for Microsoft and Windows 10, is kind of a big deal. For one, EdgeHTML is used by Universal Windows Platform apps for web wrappers and similar features, so it would be interesting to see if Microsoft continues using EdgeHTML or replaces the browser engine in UWP with Chromium as well. And secondly, moving to Chromium means Microsoft will practically lose all the unique selling points of Edge — mainly, performance.
Microsoft has continued to boast about Edge’s performance features over Chrome and other browsers for years, and I don’t think Anaheim will be able to be as fast as Edge, meaning there won’t be much to differentiate between Chrome and Anaheim if Microsoft does end up using Chromium.
And that could still, theoretically, be a good thing. Considering the fact that many users don’t use Edge because of the stability issues, moving to a Chromium-based browser could remove the need for even having to use Chrome in the first place. And for users that really care about their privacy and security, that could be a solid alternative. Plus, you will get to use all the solid Chrome extensions that are available on the Chrome Web Store over the subpar Edge extensions.
Plus, Microsoft already uses Chromium for Edge on Android, so the experience likely won’t differ much on Anaheim. My guess here is that Microsoft will stick with the design of Edge (which I am a big fan of), but change things up behind the scenes.
It’s also possible everything, including the branding, could go through a major overhaul — and that’d make a lot of sense considering Edge’s negative image.