by Jason Snell
Microsoft bringing Edge to Mac (via Chromium)
The big story from Microsoft land is that the company is throwing in the towel on doing its own web rendering engine and embracing the Chromium open-source project, which is what powers Google Chrome. The new version of Microsoft’s new Edge browser will be based on Chromium and—most interestingly for Mac users—it will run on the Mac. As Tom Warren of The Verge reports:
Microsoft now wants to collaborate with Apple, Google, and everyone else who also commits changes to Chromium. “If you’re part of the open-source community developing browsers, we invite you to collaborate with us as we build the future of Microsoft Edge and contribute to the Chromium project,” says Belfiore. “We are excited about the opportunity to be an even-more-active part of this community and bring the best of Microsoft forward to continue to make the web better for everyone.”
Chromium is itself a fork of WebKit, the rendering engine used by Apple in Safari. What this means is that the Web should become more compatible across devices and browsers than it has ever been before because all the major vendors will be using browsers that are rooted in WebKit (and originally KHTML. Eventually the lives of Web developers should become easier.
Microsoft adopting Chromium also suggests that Google might now have some serious browser competition. Microsoft Edge will have the opportunity to compete with Chrome on browser features without being different in terms of HTML compatibility. (Presumably Chrome and Chromium will become better citizens of Windows as well.)