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  • The Chrome vs Edgemium (Chredge?) wars heat up

    Posted on April 19th, 2019 at 06:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With Edge now absorbing the Chromium rendering engine*, I expect all of the Windows-centric bloggers to start explaining, in excruciating detail, why the New Edge is better than the current Google Chrome. The new Edge, it must be noted, is only available in beta preview versions. Even the latest Win10 1903 bits from MSDN contain the old Edge.

    Martin Brinkmann has a detailed side-by-side comparison, and come up with eight significant ways in which the beta Edgemium is better than (or at least different to) the shipping Chrome.

    In the end, I think this sentence hits the nail on the head:

    While you could say that you trade one data-hungry company for another, it boils down to personal preference.

    I think it’s great that Microsoft is getting back into the browser wars. (Deja vu all over again, eh?) It’ll be good for Microsoft, for Google, and most of all for us.

    I think Edgemium’s greatest foe is its pedigree. In my experience, people just don’t want Microsoft products unless they have to use them. But then again, Google’s had plenty of dirty laundry recently.

    Let the best browser win.

    *Good explainer by Gregg Keizer in Computerworld.

  • A beta version of the new Chromium-based Edge is available for testers

    Posted on April 8th, 2019 at 11:05 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    But only for testers.

    Mehedi Hassan has a good overview on Thurrott.com.

    I think it’s great that the world’s moving to a “standard” browser rendering engine. But it’s hard to imagine this move will make much of a dent in Edge’s adoption rate.

  • Microsoft adopting Chromium for Edge rendering is a big deal — let me count the ways

    Posted on December 8th, 2018 at 13:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’ve been following the “Edge is dead (but it isn’t)” story, you know that Microsoft announced a couple of days ago that they’ll stop developing the EdgeHTML rendering engine, and switch the Edge browser over to using Google’s open-source Chromium under the covers.

    There have been many knowledgeable folks tossing out ideas and opinions, but some of them seem completely unfounded. As you know, I’m more of a “I’m from Missouri show me” kind of guy.

    I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.

    — Willard Vandiver, 1899

    I’m not really from Missouri, but you get the idea.

    Yesterday there was an interesting “Ask me anything” session on Reddit where Edge Project Manager Kyle Alden makes some startling commitments:

    Existing UWP apps (including PWAs in the Store) will continue to use EdgeHTML/Chakra without interruption. We don’t plan to shim under those with a different engine. We do expect to offer a new WebView that apps can choose to use based on the new rendering engine.

    We expect to provide support for PWAs to be installed directly from the browser (much like with Chrome) in addition to the current Store approach. We’re not ready to go into all the details yet but PWAs behaving like native apps is still an important principle for us so we’ll be looking into the right system integrations to get that right.

    It’s our intention to support existing Chrome extensions.

    To me, that says two important things, which Windows users of every stripe need to understand:

    • UWP apps (formerly “Metro,” and many other names) aren’t going to last much longer. If you had visions of UWP-based Edge, or Office, or just about any app, you need to re-think. Put a fork in Windows anything “in S Mode.” [UPDATE: I’m overstating things here. See @warrenrumak’s comment. We just learned that Edge will become a standard Win32 desktop app, not a UWP app. Microsoft has already said that Office won’t become a UWP app any time soon. You can draw your own line from there.]
    • Even Microsoft now openly believes that Progressive Web Apps — a concept originally developed and pioneered by Google — are the way of the future.

    ‘Tis a brave new world.