The public-consumption blog post:
Ultimately, we want to make the web experience better for many different audiences. People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all web sites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices. Web developers will have a less-fragmented web platform to test their sites against, ensuring that there are fewer problems and increased satisfaction for users of their sites; and because we’ll continue to provide the Microsoft Edge service-driven understanding of legacy IE-only sites,
Corporate ITwill have improved compatibility for both old and new web apps in the browser that comes with Windows.
We are making this decision for the long term. We expect our engineers to learn and over time become experts in the Chromium project and grow into active and responsible members of the community. We are eager to increase our contributions to the Chromium project and will continue to maintain any contributions we make.
When seeking improvements in the web platform, our default position will be to contribute. We are focused on delivering a world class browser with Microsoft Edge through its differentiated user experience features and connected services, but where new platform capabilities are concerned, we will seek a ‘rising tide that floats all boats’. We will get started with bug fixes and meaningful contributions in such areas as ARM64 support, accessibility, security, touch input and power enhancements on Windows.
We recognize and will respect the architecture requirements and engineering approach that are intrinsic in web open-source projects and have made Chromium successful. There are many aspects that have governed Chromium OSS and other projects: multi-device support, multi-OS support, rigorous real-time engineering, etc. Although our company has historically had a focus on Windows PCs and we believe we can make contributions that improve browsers on Windows, we also understand that web OSS projects embrace a wide range of device-types, including Android, and that contributions must accommodate this device diversity. We will contribute in a way that is consistent with the architectural design that meets Chromium’s cross-platform and cross-device needs.
We believe the evolution of the open web is best served though the standards communities, and the open web benefits from open debate from a wide variety of perspectives. We will remain deeply and vigorously engaged in the standards discussions in the context of the W3C, ECMA and the WHATWG where the perspectives of vendors developing competing browsers and the larger web community can be heard and considered.
Nothing terribly surprising here. We’re doing this. We think it’ll be good for everybody. I’m slightly surprised they didn’t attempt to answer everyone’s main worry: is the web actually better off with less engine diversity? We’ll never know I guess.
oh, we do know. We have lived through a couple of browser monocultures already, and it’s never been good.
Agreed 100% that a browser monoculture isn’t good, but on the other hand we’ve just come out of nearly two decades of Microsoft being terrible stewards of their responsibility and forcing developers to make allowances for an absolutely abysmal platform because of their long-held monopoly so I’m wondering how much worse off we actually are.
On one hand, I feel sorry that Microsoft couldn’t make it work with their own engine. On the other hand, I have never once said to myself “Ya know what the web needs… more rendering engine diversity”. I want my choice of a browser to be based on the unique features they offer the USER, not what different idiosyncrasies they challenge the developer with. Chrome and Edge and Safari and Firefox can all have different feature sets and different UI, but at the heart of it, what’s inside that rectangle should look and act the same on all of them.
If Chromium was in any way lagging behind, this might be a terrible thing for the web. But what the Edge team have announced will make our jobs easier and the web stronger. Microsoft is responsible for so many amazing features of the web and with them committing to being active contributors, they’ll drive all Chromium based browsers forward. I really can’t see any downside.
Firefox is not exactly elated.