“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
Microsoft clearly took the old adage to heart last week when it announced that it would release a new version of its Edge browser using the Chromium platform (the same one that powers Chrome) in 2019. This way, web developers will no longer have to test their sites on multiple browser platforms in order to make sure they are compatible with all of them. It’s a move that will make Edge more user friendly as well as more developer friendly.
But there are plenty of additional benefits that weren’t noted in the initial announcement post. For example, the team is also planning to support existing Chrome extensions, which will bring Edge one step closer to mimicking Google’s ubiquitous browser and make the switch even easier for those who decide to try Edge.
“It’s our intention to support existing Chrome extensions,” Edge project manager Kyle Alden stated in response to a series of questions posed by Reddit users. Alden appears to have left his answer somewhat open-ended in case the functionality is too difficult to implement, but I’d put my money on the team finding a way to make it work.
Beyond Chrome extensions, Alden also confirmed that the team intends “to bring the next version of Microsoft Edge to all Microsoft devices.” This was in response to a question about Edge coming to Xbox, so we can assume from his response that the Chromium-powered Edge browser will come to Xbox One as well.
Microsoft plans to roll out a preview build of the browser in early 2019, but it’s unclear what, if any, of these features will be available at launch. In the meantime, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more details.