Microsoft Announces Edge will be a Chromium Browser

Recently, Microsoft announced its Edge browser will transition to using Chromium as its rendering engine. To say people in the tech industry have strong feelings about this is putting it mildly.

The announcement added fuel to an ongoing debate around whether the market dominance of Chromium gives Google too much control over the web. Between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, Chromium-based browsers will now account for over 76% of desktop browsers worldwide—giving Chromium, and by extension Google, massive leverage in defining the standards for web development.

Many are comparing Chromium's current popularity to that of Internet Explorer in the early 2000s when Internet Explorer accounted for over 90% of all web browsers. What's fascinating about the rise of Chromium, however, is how different it is from the Internet Explorer era.

The dominance of early-2000s Windows and Internet Explorer made it nearly impossible for other companies to build browsers—this was at the heart of Microsoft's 2001 antitrust lawsuit. Chromium, on the other hand, has created a reliable, open-source platform for many new browsers, creating a thriving ecosystem of stable browsers tailored to different audiences:

Brave - A privacy-focused browser with the tagline, “You are not a product.” The browser blocks ads and trackers by default, claiming better performance and privacy as a result.
Vivaldi - A project launched by Opera alums, Vivaldi is a Chromium browser that strives to be as customizable as possible. As it says on its site, “From the look and feel, to how you interact with your browser, every aspect of Vivaldi can be tweaked and customized.”
Blisk - A browser built specifically for developers. Blisk allows you to simultaneously test your code on multiple devices, take one-click screenshots, and evaluate code via a built-in analytics dashboard.

The stability and popularity of Chromium are making it easier than ever to bring new, viable browsers to users.

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