Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser on Chrome and bringing it to the Mac

Microsoft is announcing some significant changes to its Edge browser today. The software giant is beginning to rebuild Microsoft Edge to run on Chromium, the same open-source web rendering engine that powers Google’s Chrome browser. This means Edge will soon be powered by Blink and the V8 JavaScript engines. It’s a big move that means Microsoft is joining the open-source community in a much bigger way for the web.

“Ultimately, we want to make the web-experience better for many different audiences,” explains Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows. “People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices.”

Microsoft Edge isn’t going away, nor is the brand name. If you already use Edge on Windows, then that won’t change. All you’ll ultimately notice is that websites will render more consistently once Microsoft makes this under-the-hood change.

So why is Microsoft changing its rendering engine? Why now? Edge has fallen massively behind Chrome in terms of market share, and it’s getting to the point where Chrome is the new IE6. Developers are optimizing for Chrome, and Google has also been creating Chrome-only web services because it’s often the first to adopt emerging web technologies. Microsoft has struggled to keep its Edge rendering engine in stride with Chromium.

The Verge understands Microsoft has been considering this move for at least a year, and a lot of the push has been from consumers and businesses who wanted the company to improve web compatibility. Edge has been improving on this front, but even small compatibility issues have caused headaches for users along the way. A move to Chromium will immediately solve these web compatibility issues, and it aligns Edge with Chrome and other browsers that also use Blink.

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