Reports suggest Microsoft is building a Chromium browser that will unseat Edge’s three-year stint as Windows 10’s default browser. Windows Central’s Zac Bowden tells us the project, codenamed Anaheim, will ditch EdgeHTML once and for all.
It’s clear, even to the average user, that Edge has been an unsuccessful venture. Its market share is still way below that of Chrome, Firefox, and even the ancient Internet Explorer. Last month, its market share fell by 0.6%, despite a major Windows 10 update and a significant drop in Google Chrome users.
Part of its lack of success can be attributed to a launch that was missing major features and lackluster extension support. However, it’s likely the EdgeHTML browser engine is part of the problem.
Unlike Chromium, EdgeHTML has run into performance and stability issues. With Google’s browser by far the most dominants, web developers are optimizing for Chromium. Microsoft just hasn’t been able to keep up, and it seems it’s finally decided to give in.
Will Microsoft Kill Another Product?
However, rumors of Edge’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Though it’s underlying engine is definitely gone, it’s possible the brand will continue in some form. Microsoft could sell it to users as a major overhaul, rather than the axing of yet another product.
The would really come down to whether Microsoft believes the Edge brand has been irreparably damaged. Even if it does ditch the name, it’s may not throw out the design, which has been a hit with many users.
As always, it’s also worth taking these reports with a pinch of salt. Nothing has been confirmed officially from Microsoft and this information is from select inside sources. It’s possible plans will change.
It does make some recent decisions by the company a bit clearer, though. Microsoft was seen committing the bulk of the code for a Windows 10 on ARM Chrome port. It would make sense if it got that expertise from its own browser and wants to support the Chromium ecosystem.
Windows Central believes we’ll see Anaheim in 19H1, the next major Windows 10 update. That means we could soon see it in Insiders builds, alongside an official announcement. For users who love Edge, it should be a step forward, bringing the performance and support they’ve craved. For those on Chrome, it could present a better option due to tighter integrations with Microsoft’s OS.