It looks like Microsoft could bring Chrome-powered Edge, the revamped browser based on the Chromium engine, to Linux.
This information is based on a slide (spotted by Neowin) shown in a Build 2019 session entitled ‘Moving the web forward with Microsoft Edge’, which lists the platforms Microsoft is considering as a potential home for its new browser.
Linux is one of the operating systems listed, and in all honesty, this move would surprise no one. Still, it’s nice to get an official indication that this is indeed Microsoft’s likely plan regarding its refreshed browser on Linux.
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The original Edge was exclusive to Windows 10, but Microsoft has already said that the Chrome-powered version will be available not just for other (still supported) versions of Windows, but macOS and ‘other platforms’, with the latter most likely including Linux.
Indeed, an early preview version of Edge for macOS is already out there and available for download, although it’s likely to carry plenty of glitches (this is something that has been spilled online, and not an officially announced Microsoft release).
In the bigger picture, Chrome-based Edge on Linux makes sense, too, considering how Microsoft has been pushing Linux – and we’ve also just heard that the software giant is finally bringing full Linux to Windows 10.
Indeed, Microsoft has been making a big thing about open source in general in recent times, and furthermore, how it will contribute to Chromium in a way that won’t just make Edge better, but other browsers that use the engine (including Chrome itself).
So really, to bring the new Edge to macOS and not to Linux would seem rather odd, in that light. But nothing can be guaranteed at this point, and there could be a spanner in the works we haven’t foreseen.
If this goes ahead, the move would also be good news for Chromebook users, as Chrome OS is capable of running Linux apps, and so would also be able to benefit from Microsoft’s new browser (although note that some older Chromebooks don’t support Linux software).
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