Last week, Microsoft announced it is shifting its Microsoft Edge web browser to Chromium. The company said by adopting the open source project, it could improve its browsing experience. Microsoft has returned on the weekend to discuss its intentions for Chromium-based Edge, including support for existing Chrome extensions.
“As part of this, we intend to become a significant contributor to the Chromium project, in a way that can make not just Microsoft Edge — but other browsers as well — better on both PCs and other devices.”
Microsoft Edge becoming Chromium seems a case of if you can’t beat them, join them. Google Chrome dominates the browser market while Edge has struggled to make an impact. Microsoft has added plenty of interesting features, including extension support. However, the browser can’t compete with the extension catalog on Chrome.
By adopting Chromium, all those Chrome extensions are now available on Microsoft Edge. It is worth noting that while Microsoft confirmed functionality with extensions is likely, it is not finalized yet.
“It’s our intention to support existing Chrome extensions,” Edge Project manager Kyle Alden said. That statement is vague enough to suggest while Microsoft is working on extension support, it is not guaranteed. Also, we can also infer that the support for Chrome extensions won’t be available for a while.
Alden also discussed more plans for the new Microsoft Edge experience. The executive says the new browser will come to “All Microsoft devices” including the Xbox One.
We know Microsoft has been working with progressive web apps (PWAs) for Edge and that development will continue. Alden says the PWAs look like native applications through a wrapper on the web experience. Like Chrome, Edge users will be able to install PWAs directly from the browser, as well as the Microsoft Store.