Hands up everyone who uses Microsoft Edge on their computer! No one?
If you don’t, you’re not alone – the web browser hasn’t seen much success since its debut on Windows 10 in 2015. According to StatCounter, Microsoft Edge sat at around 2% of the total market share in 2018, losing out to the likes of Firefox (5%), Safari (13%) and Chrome (58%).
Perhaps most embarrassingly, Microsoft Edge even lost out to its older counterpart, Internet Explorer, which scored 3% of the total market share in 2018.
Why the low figures? Well for starters, Edge is only available on Windows 10, meaning anyone with an older Microsoft computer or a Mac can’t use the browser even if they wanted to. A lack of instability and mindshare also didn’t do the browser any favours.
Yet that could all change come next year, as Microsoft is reportedly set to be a building a new browser from scratch. Codenamed “Anaheim” (really rolls off the tongue) the new browser will reportedly replace Microsoft Edge as the default browser on compatible Windows devices.
In terms of power, it’s suggested the web browser will be powered by Chromium. While it may sound like something a particular superheroes shield may be made out of, it’s actually an open-source web browser developed by the guys at Google. Any guesses which popular web browser was built with the help of Chromium? You guessed it – Google Chrome.
If you can’t beat them, join them
Does this mean that Microsoft’s new browser will just be a copycat of Google Chrome? Well, yes and no.
Google Chrome is built using much of the same code as Chromium, but it also features a number of additional features, such as support for additional video formats. While “Anaheim” will likely be built using much of the same code, Microsoft may still have a few additional features up their sleeve in order to help their browser stand out, and not just become a carbon copy of Chrome.
A different (but familiar) rendering engine
Something that often crops up in discussions around Microsoft Edge is that it simply isn’t as reliable and stable as some of its other competitors.
That’s because, until very recently, Edge ran using Microsoft’s own browser engine, called EdgeHTML. While competent enough, many people just couldn’t rely on it enough not to run into the occasional hiccup from time to time.
However, with the announcement of “Anaheim”, Microsoft has confirmed the new browser will be ditching EdgeHTML for a similar engine used by (you guessed it) – Google Chrome.
Blink has been proven to be more stable and reliable than many other browser engines out there, but much like “Anaheim” itself, it remains to be seen just how things will be tweaked to make Microsoft’s new browser stand out amongst the competition. When it does release, you can bet all of us here at Web Monkey Studios will be eager to test it out.
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