Microsoft May Replace Edge’s Rendering Engine with an Open Source Chromium Fork

Report: Windows Lite is Microsoft’s long-awaited answer to Chrome OS

The new browser is codenamed Anaheim and uses Chromium, the rendering engine used by Google's Chrome browser, Windows Central reported Monday. With a new browser that's built on Chromium, websites should behave exactly the same as they do on Chrome. When Microsoft's Sean Lyndersay, the Principal Program Mananger Lead for Edge, announced the Android and iOS browsers a year ago, he said the company is committed to EdgeHTML, despite its replacing it with Blink and WebKit on Android and iOS.

Google Chrome is overwhelmingly the dominant web browser. Unknown is whether Microsoft will keep the Edge name or give the browser a new name or whether the user interface between Edge and Anaheim will differ, according to Windows Central.

Since Microsoft rolled out the stable build of Windows 10 back in 2015, it started laying emphasis on its new default web browser - Microsoft Edge. Just like Chrome OS, Windows Lite will have to be pre-installed by an OEM.

If that's legit, it'll see Microsoft swap out the EdgeHTML engine it built from scratch for the one that's part of the open source Chromium base, and powers Google Chrome, Opera, and courageous. Despite shipping as the default browser in Windows 10, Edge has never been able to capture a large share of the market.

But it could be seen as bad news for the punter - it risks all browsers starting to become much-of-a-muchness so vendors will have to try twice as hard to make theirs stand out. Some, including Mozilla developers, have been anxious that as Blink and WebKit's (a very similar rendering engine to Blink) market share increases, developers will have no interest in testing their websites on other browsers.

Usually, lack of competition is a negative for end users. The fact that Chromium is an open-source project might somewhat assuage that fear. Honestly, we can't wait to see what Microsoft could do with the Chromium engine. Therefore, the future of the web may depend on how Google and Apple continue to develop the Blink and WebKit rendering engines.

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