UPDATE December 5, 2018: Microsoft Using Chromium to Enhance Edge, Not Replace It
As Spartan, Microsoft’s Edge web browser was to be shiny, new and able to win usage away from Google’s dominating Chrome browser. Three years on, and Edge is a flop. Customers have known it for a long while with most opting to use an alternate way to surf the Internet. And, in most cases, that is Chrome.
Microsoft recently began helping Google develop a Chrome option for the forthcoming ARM processor push for Windows. In light of this, its now been unearthed over at WindowsCentral.com that Microsoft’s efforts along these lines are even deeper as the company is secretly ending its development with the EdgeHTML protocol to replace Edge on Windows with a Chromium-based offering.
This comes on the heels of reports this week that Microsoft is also working on a ‘Lite’ version of Windows. In essence, the company is opting to build a version of Windows to compete with Google’s education industry dominating OS built on Chromium, ChromeOS. It’s done this before. Remember Windows RT or Windows 10 S? Customers didn’t take to either of these Windows editions. Customers use Windows because it still runs their old applications and games. When Windows stops doing that, customers will move on. Fortunately for Microsoft, Windows still comes in supportable versions. If the company had opted to move customers directly to RT or S, there would have been a revolt.
You may have noticed that we’ve been covering ChromeOS more and more here at myITforum. That’s no coincidence. ChromeOS is a lightweight but powerful operating system that runs on great hardware for about half the cost of comparable Windows devices. ChromeOS has grown-up quickly over the last year or so and with its Play Store and Linux support makes it a very worthy Windows competitor. And, with an add-on like Crossover, it still runs old Windows applications and games.
Ultimately, Microsoft sees its future in Azure and Office. The company has been good in years past about creating strong partnerships where partnerships didn’t seem feasible. Is this new focus on Chromium-based pieces a new partnership yet to announce? Microsoft, these days, tends to make sure that its apps run best on other platforms, with a strong focus on Android. Microsoft could push out into the mobile space again, but why should it when an Android handset runs all Microsoft apps? How many Microsoft apps need to be installed on an Android smartphone before it’s a “Microsoft device”? And, who really cares what the underlying platform really is as long as the user is paying for an Office subscription, authenticating with Azure, and storing their files in OneDrive?
The writing is on the wall.