Microsoft move to Chromium …So 15th January 2020, Microsoft moved their flagship browser into the Chromium engine, and away from their own EdgeHTML coding. So one could argue that this is to keep them in line with market, and for their products to be universally conversant with customer needs in a browser. After all, let’s face it, over the years, Microsoft have had varying degree’s of success, and some would argue failure with their steps into the browser market. Who can forget, that at one point early versions of Windows where so intrenched with the browser being present that functionality would effectively stop working, and the result would be that you could not really operate your PC without Internet Explorer being loaded. In fact who can forget when Bill Gates and his company had to legally remove the need for the browser to be installed, and to be offered as an option. In fact up until Vista it would be needed due the Trident engine being present for other apps to work.
Corporates who have bought into the Microsoft Eco system have also found, as they branch out to third party developers who utilise more and more browsers as the main delivery method, due to there non dependent OS entrenchment, that IE in all of it’s revisions, both slow un-responsive, and fickle to the needs of themselves and end users.
Is this in part due to the growth of non Microsoft based alternatives. People use in their own lives a lot of non Microsoft technology, and especially when it comes to browsing or using mobile apps. Safari, Chrome, Firefox are the major players, and let’s face it with consumption of content being heavily swayed to mobile platforms, Microsoft has never really been adopted, even their own foray into tablet and cell phones as basically failed.
Is it also the belief that somehow Microsoft’s browser is not quite as up to the task, potentially risk averse, clunky and prone to being inoperable just to use web apps or browsing.
Who can forget the criticism that Steve Jobs, meet when he dropped Flash from Apple’s eco system. Who is laughing now, when we are all moving to HTML5, or embedded plugin’s that do not require extensive custom added code. Let’s face it IE was never that hot.
Also developers have moved away from Internet Explorer non Microsoft centric development tools, and that could possibly be linked to cost or complications in cross platform integration.
Moreover is it mainly due to a combination of what people use and want, and Microsoft still thinking that they can dictate?
Something that is even more telling is in Microsoft recent moves in adoption of Linux. Now I know that it’s always been the elephant in the room, and that Microsoft for years have had it in their own arsenal fo development and for production need, but, its a big step for a company whom as spent years promoting it’s own systems, to admit that integration to something like Linux, is required. You could argue that it could be a sign of maturity, or a sign of realising that you are not the beginning and end – “Beginning with Windows Insiders builds this Summer, we will include an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).“
So perhaps, again conclusions can be drawn, is it market forces that are making Redmond biggest inhabitants move to what is being dictated to them, and not the other way round. Will we miss IE, will we embrace Edge in a Chrome flavour, or will we all be using dubious alternatives like Brave or Opera, whose ownership is questionable due to links with Chinese government backed finance, Perhaps better the devil you know.One thing is certain, this is the first time that Microsoft as openly changed tack on it’s internet offering, and not since Netscape, nearly did for it as their been such a shift in thinking.