Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s next gen browser. It’s slated to take the place of Internet Explorer. I’ll believe that when I see it. Be that as it may, I was surprised to learn that the next major release of Edge will be based on Chromium, the open source version of Google Chrome. If you’ve ever run Linux, you’ve probably downloaded Chromium and I don’t need to explain what it is. Or you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Firefox devotee and could care less. But for the curious, Google Chrome is a commercial product supported by Google. Chromium is pretty much the same product except that Google has released the source code to the public. Various interested parties can use the Chromium source code and compile it for use on their particular platforms, mostly Linux variants.
Microsoft has always held it’s technology pretty close to the vest which is why I’m so surprised that they are adopting Chromium as the base for their browser update. You can read more about it here.
I’ve been using a beta-release version of the new Edge for a few days now and I have to admit I like it. It’s like having a version of Chrome that plays nicely with Office 365 which I use at work. It already has a section of the Microsoft App Store devoted to Edge (Chromium) extensions, bits of code you can load to expand the functionality of the Edge browser. And more surprisingly, it allows you to load extensions from the Google Chrome store. I’m still deciding which I like better, Chrome or the new Edge. I’ve been a long time Chrome user but Microsoft might just ‘edge’ it out with their new offering.