Edge and the state of browsers
While WordPress 5.0 and WordCamp US were consuming the majority of the community’s attention, some significant events were unfolding that will have profound and lasting effects on the web.
One of these events was a rumor that Microsoft decided to replace its Edge browser (which has a proprietary rendering engine) with a Chromium-powered web browser on Windows 10. Microsoft later confirmed this rumor to be true. There’s even talk of bringing the new Edge to the Mac.
There is a lot to unpack in the implications of this decision. Edge never really had a significant market share even compared with its predecessor, IE11. Nevertheless, it was still another option for users and added diversity to the browser ecosystem.
Many people have commented on this in the past week or two, but I would suggest reading Ferdy Christant‘s “The State of Web Browsers” post. Ferdy digs deeply into the question of what Microsoft’s decision could mean for Firefox, Safari, and the state of the web in general.
Ferdy also published a follow-up post, “State of Web Browsers in 2019,” a few days later which is a bit more upbeat. While the prospect of a world where Chromium dominates the web concerns Mozilla, Ferdy accentuates the positives. Thanks to auto-updates and standards, “90% of users — pretty much all of the web — will work correctly and as intended by the creator […] as strange as it sounds, in a competitive browser landscape where three engines would have an equal share, the above would not be as true.”