Microsoft is reportedly giving up on Edge, and instead building a Chromium-powered web browser to be the default browser for Windows 10.
Following rumors reported by Windows Central (opens in new tab), sources that The Verge (opens in new tab) has spoken to claim that Microsoft will announce the new Chrome-based browser later this week.
So it sounds like things are set to happen quickly, and at least we won’t have long to wait to get this speculation confirmed. However, we should clarify that these rumors aren't confirmed at this point.
As you may well be aware, Chrome is the clear market leader when it comes to web browsers, so Microsoft’s decision to switch to Chromium rather than its own browser engine is the obvious choice in terms of trying to ensure better compatibility for Windows 10’s new default browser (which is currently codenamed Anaheim).
Still, the move is surprising as it’s a big admission of defeat for Microsoft. But, in equal measure, we aren’t surprised given the massive uphill struggle that we’ve witnessed the company having trying to push Edge.
The browser has been plagued by issues over the years, from the initial launch where major features like extensions were missing, through various other bugs and issues, and witnessing market share dwindling to a frankly embarrassing level.
As we noted in an article yesterday, Edge’s market share dropped again according to one set of stats – with Netmarketshare pegging it at barely more than 4% of overall share – and it has been going backwards for a while now, despite Microsoft trying to push it hard by various means. We even suggested Microsoft needs to do something about this soon, otherwise the decline could be terminal – and it seems that’s the case.
As to whether the new browser will keep the name Edge, or switch to a different brand to fully differentiate itself from what could easily be perceived as a major failure, is still unknown. As to whether the interface will be radically changed or not, we do not know, but we can expect some change on that front as well.
Before we bang the major failure drum too much, though, at least Microsoft has had the courage to make the realization that it needs to switch – assuming that we do indeed see the new Chromium-powered effort unveiled imminently.
Stay tuned, because it looks like this week will be a very interesting one in the browser world.
Also, as a final note, remember that Microsoft was recently quizzing Windows 10 users on exactly why they use Chrome rather than Edge, Suddenly, that makes a lot more sense…
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