Three years ago, Microsoft decided to retire their beleaguered Internet Explorer browser. It was a disaster, riddled with critical security flaws and technologically far behind Chrome and Firefox. The company vowed to do better, so they started fresh and introduced Microsoft Edge. It was designed to compete head to head with the big name browsers that have dominated the web for years.
Unfortunately, despite the company’s lofty ambitions, the Edge browser didn’t fare much better than the product it replaced. Rumors have been flying for weeks, and the latest industry buzz is that Microsoft is throwing in the towel on Edge and building a new browser based on Google’s Chromium technology.
Although there’s no mention of “Project Anaheim” anywhere on the Microsoft website, that’s the name that’s been circulating in recent weeks associated with the new build. According to industry insiders, the new browser could start making an appearance as Windows 10’s default browser as of build 19H1, and available to participants in the Microsoft Insider Preview program.
Details are obviously sketchy at this point, but what we do know is that the new browser will be powered by the Blink rendering engine, and that EdgeHTML is officially being phased out.
It’s an interesting move, and in some ways, unsurprising. After all, although the Edge browser only has a tiny share of the market on Android and iOS devices, Microsoft’s current offering already utilizes the Chromium rendering engine on smartphones. This then, is a logical next step, but it has at least one profound implication.
If the rumors prove to be true, then whatever browser Microsoft replaces Edge with will essentially be a Google product. This will give Google an overwhelming and probably unbreakable monopoly in the browser market. An interesting turn of events indeed.