Microsoft moving away from EdgeHTML for future Windows browser?

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There's a fascinating rumour (with some evidence) over at WC, where Zac Bowden reports that Microsoft is going to switch from Edge and EdgeHTML in Windows 10 to a default browser based on Google's Chromium rendering engine. It's not known whether any of the Edge branding will be retained (maybe just keep the blue "e" and go back to "Explorer", since that's what normobs expect?)

Zac writes:

Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.

Because of this, I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform. It's unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10's default browser is dead.

While all this will no doubt pan out, it does strike me that the main reason why Chrome has become the dominant desktop class browser of our times isn't necessarily to do with rendering ability, it's the tie in with a Google account and the way all your history and bookmarks auto-sync from device to device, from phone to tablet to laptop, and so on. And yes, Edge kind of does this through a Microsoft account, but arguably not as completely.

So a Chromium-powered Microsoft browser may well render as well as Chrome itself, but until history/favourites sync as well, it would only be an incremental improvement, I contend?

And of course, all this is far too late for Windows 10 Mobile, though I'd point out that site rendering in Edge on the phone is patently 'good enough' - no one expects to render huge layouts on a smartphone. Though it would be nice if Microsoft put in some work into finishing the 'service workers' in Edge under W10M, so that we can have background notifications for our PWAs. Just saying....

Source / Credit: WC