Microsoft’s curiously vague announcement about moving the Edge web browser to Chromium has unleashed a torrent of questions about the future. Well, here’s the answer to one of the biggest questions.
Yes, the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge will support Google’s Chrome’s far more voluminous and capable library of browser extensions.
At least that’s the intention.
“It’s our intention to support existing Chrome extensions,” Microsoft’s Kyle Alden explained on Reddit.
So that’s great news.
Alden also spoke to the schedule for moving both Edge and Windows 10 to Chromium. As noted, the web browser will happen first. But switching over the OS—remember, web-based UWP apps and the PWA engine in Windows 10 both use EdgeHTML today—to Chromium would break things. So Microsoft will offer both side-by-side so that developers can move to Chromium on their own schedules.
“Existing UWP apps (including PWAs in the Store) will continue to use EdgeHTML/Chakra without interruption,” he explains. “We don’t plan to shim under those with a different engine. We do expect to offer a new WebView that apps can choose to use based on the new rendering engine.”
He also addresses whether new Chromium-based Edge will let users install PWAs from the browser, just like Chrome does.
“We expect to provide support for PWAs to be installed directly from the browser (much like with Chrome) in addition to the current Store approach,” he said, though it’s worth noting that the Edge team had previously planned this feature on the old browser too. “We’re not ready to go into all the details yet but PWAs behaving like native apps is still an important principle for us so we’ll be looking into the right system integrations to get that right.”
And yes, the new Edge is coming to Xbox One.
“We are at the early stages of our journey, but it is our intention to bring the next version of Microsoft Edge to all Microsoft devices,” he wrote.
So good news all around.
Tagged with Microsoft Edge