Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 may be dropped for a new blink-based browser




  • Moderator

    I find this to be both cause for celebration and concern.

    The windows browsers have largely been... not great in terms of keeping up with web standards. Edge and EdgeHTML were a damn sight better than IE and Trident ever were, but they still lagged behind. Microsoft adopting another engine will be good for their users.

    However, this is just going to further fuel the homogeneous browser environment. Basically the only non-chrome browser going forward will be browsers based on Mozilla's rendering engine. This is not a great position to be in.
    (At least they're not building a browser on top of electron.)
    Depending on how web developers handle this it could result in either a decrease in the number of sites "built for chrome", or even an increase if things go awry.

    One good thing though: the Microsoft store policy of not allowing browsers that don't use the EdgeHTML rendering engine is no longer a viable policy. This could allow it to open up to others, such as Vivaldi.

    I did read in one of these articles that Microsoft engineers were contributing code to get chromium working on ARM (for their Windows on ARM surface products). Hadn't Vivaldi already got this working?




  • Moderator

    Mod Edit: Threads merged.

    It seems this whole story rose from this one windowscentral article, and the only source they give is "I'm told that..." and something anecdotal about devs wanting to get chrome working on windows for ARM.

    Until we get an official notice from Microsoft, these are rumors and naught more.


  • Moderator

    The rumours have been confirmed, as per https://github.com/MicrosoftEdge/MSEdge



  • It's sad news. Now i'll have to revert to mocking only Chrome, whereas before i could evenly distribute my mocking across two useless pixel aggregators.


  • Moderator

    I had some thoughts on this, I'll repeat what I said on twitter.

    The move of @MicrosoftEdge to chromium will be a blow to standards. Yes, everyone should keep on spec, but having more engines allows them to experiment with different technologies before standardisation is complete.

    In their own announcement they state that: "he open web benefits from open debate from a wide variety of perspectives" - how can this take place if 90+% of developers only care about a single engine? The only real debate to be had is from Mozilla.

    It would be a good idea for @MicrosoftEdge to open source whatever remains of Edge regardless. Chakra already is, and if they're not developing it any more MS stand nothing to lose by sharing it. This also benefits anyone who does want to take it forward.

    I am also dismayed at @MicrosoftEdge's notice that it's too difficult for developers to test multiple engines. Encouraging developers to build for few (read one) engine is what led to the IE compatibility disaster decades ago.

    If MS wanted a more open approach they simply could have made the entire browser open source from the beginning. Abandoning it now does very little good for browser standards and developers other than saving MS some money.

    I'm perhaps taking a bit of a negative stance on the @MicrosoftEdge issue. If this leads to better performance and more distributed browser there, then that's definitely a benefit. But this was definitely one of the stranger ways MS could have taken.




  • Moderator

    ARS Technica's piece on the impact of this is worth reading: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/12/the-web-now-belongs-to-google-and-that-should-worry-us-all/

    This is a particularly disturbing story, if true:

    A person claiming to be a former Edge developer has today described one such action. For no obvious reason, Google changed YouTube to add a hidden, empty HTML element that overlaid each video. This element disabled Edge's fastest, most efficient hardware accelerated video decoding. It hurt Edge's battery-life performance and took it below Chrome's. The change didn't improve Chrome's performance and didn't appear to serve any real purpose; it just hurt Edge, allowing Google to claim that Chrome's battery life was actually superior to Edge's. Microsoft asked Google if the company could remove the element, to no avail.


  • Moderator

    @LonM said in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 may be dropped for a new blink-based browser:

    The move of @MicrosoftEdge to chromium will be a blow to standards. Yes, everyone should keep on spec, but having more engines allows them to experiment with different technologies before standardisation is complete.

    The worst part is that on a monopoly there's no standard, it's a monopoly so everything they do is automatically a standard. There's no discussion, no testing, whatever they do is a standard. (and this has been happening for years already)

    @LonM said in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 may be dropped for a new blink-based browser:

    I did read in one of these articles that Microsoft engineers were contributing code to get chromium working on ARM (for their Windows on ARM surface products). Hadn't Vivaldi already got this working?

    Vivaldi/Chromium has done on/for Linux, Microsoft is doing for Windows.



  • One good thing might come out of Microsoft switching to a Chromium base

    Microsoft Plans to Bring Smooth Scrolling to Chromium



  • If that they can make, then they could try to implement video playback from Edge and text rendering. IMO Edge has the best video playback abilities from all browsers with smallest CPU usage. Try to compare some FullHD@60fps video in Edge and Chromium. And text rendering. Oh god, black is real black in Edge and not some blurred gray with gray shadows in Chromium.


  • Moderator

    Microsoft Edge on Chromium base will bring us more/better implementation of video and audio codecs in Chromium code, i hope.


 

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