In December, Microsoft surprised many by confirming its Edge browser would become Chromium based. The company had underpinned its browser with its own technology, but decided to embrace Google’s Chromium web rendering engine. Today, a leak has shown what Chromium-based Edge will look like.
Chris Heilmann, Program Manager for Open Web and Browser at Microsoft accidentally tweeted a screenshot of Chromium Edge. The browser is still in testing development and has not even reached Windows Insiders yet.
As you can see in the screenshot below, Microsoft has retained the original Edge browser, but it is now yellow. Whether that color is merely for the test and will return to blue in production remains to be seen.
The icon also features “can” on its badge. This refers to Canary, the codename Google uses for developer Chromium builds.
Here’s the tweet that was deleted pic.twitter.com/nbjoeI9nrA
— Tero Alhonen (@teroalhonen) February 26, 2019
Edge on Chrome
One of the benefits of switching to Chromium is Microsoft can address limited functionality by supporting Chrome extensions.
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.
“Today we’re announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers,” said Microsoft CVP Joe Belfiore at the time.
Rival browser developer Mozilla criticized Microsoft’s decision to abandon EdgeHTML. Speaking on a blog post, CEO Chris Beard accused Microsoft of “giving up on an independent shared platform for the internet”.