Not too long ago, it was revealed by Microsoft that it plans to make big changes to its Edge web browser. The planned changes in question came as a surprise to many because the software giant has decades of experience in the web browser market.
You see, the company said it is currently working on a new version of the Edge web browser that takes advantage of the Chromium rendering engine instead of the in-house engine that was designed by Microsoft’s own developers.
Chromium is a Google-made rendering engine, and it’s the engine that is at the heart web browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, and more. The number of companies that are choosing to use Chromium as the base engine for their respective web browsers has grown quite a lot, and that’s a problem for the internet at large.
By choosing to use Chrome over its own EdgeHTML engine, Microsoft has chosen to give all powers to Google where the internet is concerned. Most web developers will continue to target Chromium browsers over others due to market share.
Bear in mind that a similar thing happened when Internet Explorer was the leader in the web browser space, and the internet suffered because of it. Microsoft failed to follow standards, and due to the popularity of the product, developers also fail to follow the same standards.
Now, we’re not saying Google will eventually decide that it won’t follow standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). What we’re saying is, the company could set its own standards in the future, and that’s a detriment to the likes of Mozilla and others who are not keen on using Chromium.
In fact, the search giant is already doing its own thing right now. The company is using Chrome to push VP9 and WebM, and guess what? These are standards developed by Google. It may come to a time where YouTube will perform better in Chromium browsers, and Firefox will no doubt suffer unless Mozilla bows under pressure.
Folks didn’t have much to worry about because Microsoft was also countering whatever Google was doing, but such is no longer the case.
Here’s what Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla, had to say:
“They determine core capabilities such as which content we as consumers can see, how secure we are when we watch content, and how much control we have over what websites and services can do to us. Microsoft’s decision gives Google more ability to single handedly decide what possibilities are available to each one of us.”
“From a social, civic and individual empowerment perspective ceding control of fundamental online infrastructure to a single company is terrible,” says Chris Beard via the Mozilla blog.
Now, there’s a chance that Microsoft may decide to create a hard fork of the Chromium engine and go its own way, but that is highly unlikely at this point