Microsoft recently announced it's taking an open source approach to the development of its web browser: Microsoft Edge. Interestingly, it's open source path for the browser is the Chromium open source project (the Google-started project that remains the core codebase for the Google Chrome web browser). Although Microsoft never mentioned Google in its blog post announcement, it's hard to imagine that better integration with Google and it's various software and hardware products aren't part of this move.
According to Microsoft, the goal is to create better web compatibility for all customers and less fragmentation for all developers. Microsoft will start contributing to the Chromium Project which means it will start assisting in the developing of browsers both Microsoft and otherwise. Microsoft points out that open sourcing is not new to Microsoft. In fact, its mobile Edge browser has been open-sourced since its inception.
As should be expected, the move to an open source Edge will come with changes. Users should see little change, but developers can both participate in the changes and follow along. The first changes to be made include:
- transition to Chromium-compatible web platform for Edge on the desktop
- more frequent updates
- enhancements focused on Chromium-based browsers working better on Windows devices.
Microsoft invites developers to participate at the Edge Insider community. The first preview build should be available in early 2019. Stay tuned.