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Google welcomes Microsoft’s move to Chromium, but Mozilla doesn’t


nir

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Microsoft is moving its Edge Windows browser to Google’s open source Chromium rendering engine. The move will mean Edge will be far more compatible with websites, but Microsoft will also be able to contribute to the underlying code of the Chrome browser and ensure it improves on Windows 10. Google has welcomed Microsoft’s move in a statement to The Verge.

 

“Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors,” says a Google spokesperson. “We look forward to working with Microsoft and the web standards community to advance the open web, support user choice and deliver great browsing experiences.”

 

While Google is welcoming the move, Mozilla isn’t at all. “This just increases the importance of Mozilla’s role as the only independent choice,” says a Mozilla spokesperson in a statement to VentureBeat. “We are not going to concede that Google’s implementation of the web is the only option consumers should have. That’s why we built Firefox in the first place and why we will always fight for a truly open web.”

 

While Microsoft and Google seem to be aligned, it’s still not clear whether Google will create a Windows Store version of Chrome. Microsoft continues to have policies that restrict store apps to its own rendering engine, which will now be Chromium-based in the future. As it stands, Windows 10 devices running in S Mode cannot install Chrome unless S Mode is disabled as it’s not available in the Windows Store. Microsoft and Google probably have some more making up to do until we ever see a version of Chrome in the Windows Store.

 

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Google and Mozilla react to Microsoft’s embrace of Chromium

 

Microsoft today announced it is embracing Chromium for Edge browser development on the desktop. The news includes plenty of exciting changes, including the decoupling of Edge from Windows 10, more frequent updates, and support for Chrome extensions. But we also wanted to find out what other major browser makers think of the news.

 

microsoft-edge-chromium.png

 

Google largely sees Microsoft’s decision as a good thing, which is not exactly a surprise given that the company created the Chromium open source project.

 

 

“Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We look forward to working with Microsoft and the web standards community to advance the open web, support user choice, and deliver great browsing experiences.”

 

What Google’s statement doesn’t say is the company still isn’t happy with Edge. The Microsoft Store still doesn’t allow non-EdgeHTML browsers, meaning devices running Windows 10 S Mode can’t install Chrome, Firefox, or any third-party browser. Microsoft has yet to say if that will change.

 

Mozilla meanwhile sees Microsoft’s move as further validation that users should switch to Firefox.

 

“This just increases the importance of Mozilla’s role as the only independent choice,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We are not going to concede that Google’s implementation of the web is the only option consumers should have. That’s why we built Firefox in the first place and why we will always fight for a truly open web.”

 

Mozilla regularly points out it develops the only independent browser — meaning it’s not tied to a tech company that has priorities which often don’t align with the web. Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), and Microsoft (Edge) all have their own corporate interests.

 

A Chromium-based Edge means a lot for the few users that actively use Edge, but much more interesting will be the impact on the broader web. Chrome dominates already — will this only cement its place or will the competition heat up?

 

We also contacted Apple and Opera and will update this story if we hear back.

 

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Mozilla has some cheek, they seem to be hell-bent on removing Firefox unique features and making it more like Chrome.

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