Microsoft has announced it will give its Edge browser a complete overhaul by rebuilding it on Chromium, the open-source browser platform that underpins Google Chrome.
Corporate vice president Joe Belfiore announced in a blog post that Microsoft will move Edge to Chromium to align the browser with web standards and make significant contributions to the open source project.
"Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences. People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices," Belfiore said.
"Web developers will have a less-fragmented web platform to test their sites against, ensuring that there are fewer problems and increased satisfaction for users of their sites; and because we’ll continue to provide the Microsoft Edge service-driven understanding of legacy IE-only sites, corporate IT will have improved compatibility for both old and new web apps in the browser that comes with Windows."
Left unsaid in Belfiore's post is that Edge currently owns just 4.3 percent of the desktop browser market, according to Net Marketshare, compared to Google Chrome with 64 percent followed by Firefox with 10 percent.
That low market share means developers prioritise development for Chromium, leaving some sites less-than-optimal on Windows 10. Microsoft can't tolerate sub-par user experiences for Windows 10 users, making adoption of Chromium a strategic necessity.
Belfiore added that updates for Edge will be delivered on a more frequent basis by evolving the browser code so that its distribution model offers an updated platform for all supported versions of Windows.