Microsoft’s Edge browser shift has major implications for software and devices

“Sometimes it’s the news behind the news that’s really important. Such is the case with the recent announcement from Microsoft that they plan to start using the open source software-based Chromium project as a basis for future versions of their Edge browser,” Bob O’Donnell writes for Tech.pinions. “The long-term implications of the move could lead to some profoundly important changes to the kinds of software we use, the types of devices we buy, the chips that power them, and much more.”

“By moving the massive base of Windows users (as well as Edge browser users on the Mac, Android, and iOS, because Microsoft announced their intentions to build Chromium-powered browsers for all those platforms as well), the company has single-handedly shifted the balance of web and browser-based standards towards Chromium,” O’Donnell writes. “This means that application developers can now concentrate more of their efforts on this standard and ensure that a wider range of applications will be available — and work in a consistent fashion — across multiple devices and platforms.”

“At the same time, because Apple doesn’t currently support Chromium and is still focused on keeping its developers (and end users) more tightly tied into its proprietary OS, Microsoft is essentially further isolating Apple from key web software standards,” O’Donnell writes. “In an olive branch move to Apple users, however, Microsoft has said that they will bring the Chromium-powered version of Edge to MacOS and likely iOS, essentially giving Apple users access to this new world of software, but via a Microsoft connection.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has 1.5+ billion users and counting, the vast majority of whom use Safari which is based on the WebKit engine. Apple is certainly not “isolated.” No developer worth his salt will ignore Apple product users.

6 Comments

  1. I thought that chromium was a fork of WebKit though I know they moved if away from its core standards somewhat a while back. But one presumes its still a lot closer than Edge ever was, just means it’s two rather than 3 standards to write for one presumes though could add problems years down the line perhaps.

    1. The real issue is: how well do Safari, Edge, Chromium follow web standards?
      Chromium doesn’t or woudn’t establish a “new platform” everyone should abide to, unless the industry degrades its behavior to non-standard behavior such as MSIE 5.3- for MacOS, and MSIE 9- for Windows.

  2. To sit on one’s laurels and think these modification and new developments aren’t a concern for the 1.5 b Apple community is presumptuous. MS is an advancing behemoth that has floundered for yrs, but the current CEO is no sweaty-man Ballmer. Combine this with the disconnectedness to essentials at AAPL and I think this article has a important factors to consider. I think Gruber’s thoughts have legs.

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