Microsoft to replace Edge with Chromium based browser

Discussion in 'Press Releases and Announcements' started by DRTigerlilly, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    In eyebrow raising news Windows Central is reporting Edge's impending demise for replacement with a Chromium based browser.
     
  2. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Unfortunate use of name - I remember seeing a Chinese clone called Chromium when I wanted to reinstall Chrome on an old PC laptop a few years ago. The logo was the same as Chrome's but blue tones used. I was lucky not to install that by mistake as it apparently was really hard to remove.

    For myself, Edge started off well but became really laggy really quickly and I hated that it and Internet explorer were unremovable bloatware. I'd prefer that Microsoft created a separate browser which I had the choice to use or delete as required.
     
  3. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Actually Chromium is the open source browser that Chrome is based on (see this Wikipedia entry) and what you describe is the official Chromium logo. There still may be bad actors that modify the open source and try to distribute a fake Chromium with spyware installed though, so only install from trusted locations.

    As for Edge possibly being discontinued, there was some discussion of this in the Surface Go thread:
    It's probably better to continue the discussion here so the Go thread can be used for discussing that the Go is too cute to quit.
     
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  4. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    To add my thoughts, I used to be pretty active on the Chrome development site providing bug reports and feature request. I even still have the privileges to merge issues or mark them complete etc. I lost enthusiasm though as Google continued its quest to be quietly evil. Obvious annoyances in Windows take a suspiciously long time to address. For example, it's taken them forever to have the touch keyboard offer word suggestions when using Chrome. While there seem to be good-faith Chrome engineers commenting on bugs like that, they certainly don't seem to be in a hurry to make it a better experience.

    Then there's the trojan horse aspect. Chrome has been able to steal users away from for example IE because MS got lazy. Then Google started hammering away HARD to make it possible to run Android apps in Chrome, and developed ChromeOS which is a windowed environment running only Chrome processes (did I get this right?) that looks like Win7, imo to appeal to people upset by Win10. It seems like an obvious goal is to make Chrome act as 'Windows within Windows' (I heard you liked Windows...) and offer its own ecosystem that runs on any and all x86 and ARM devices. Coupled with cheap ChromeOS devices at schools and Chrome on what, 95% of the smartphones in the world, you have to give them credit for a beautifully executed long-term takeover plan.

    Can't say I'm thrilled by the idea of a Google dominated world, but from where I'm sitting it looks like that's where we're heading. Come on Microsoft, fight!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  5. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member

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    In some ways this is a case of what goes around, comes around. Some of the more senior folks around here remember the take no prisoners approach Microsoft had with IE that rather quickly turned Netscape irrelevant.

    Our IT at the time went as far as to ban Netscape from corporate machines.
    When Chrome first appeared , it was the anti IE. Faster, cleaner looking and truly cross platform unlike I.E which while it had a mac version was functionally gimped and about three versions back from the PC version.

    It was bad enough, that when Apple was getting ready to release the iMac, jobs wanted "a browser that matched the Macs elegance". Ironically as part of his "deal with the devil" Jobs made to save Apple and made IE the default browser at the time for new macs.

    Being in the mac fold at the time, the standard part of setting up a mac was to first install any other browser. In reality it proved harder to build a good browser than Jobs estimated and it took a number of tries, but Safari is now an excellent browser in general and arguably the best mobile browser.

    There is always a tension in tech between "standards" and openness and innovation. It will be interesting to see how this plays out
     
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  6. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Netscape 7 was da bomb, if a little unwieldy on those anemic PCs of the nineties.. :D I agree with you, MS definitely was the devil back in the day in terms of abusing a monopoly position. In the years since though I'm going to say that Google has rivaled if not surpassed them in terms of subterfuge. I think at this point Apple looks the least evil, although even there I dislike their protectionist and greedy app store behavior. Regardless of who is the most evil, there's enough wrong with iOS (device cost, software limitations) and Android (security risks, relentless user tracking) that I would have loved a good third mobile player like WP10 (affordable, secure).
     
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  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Karma is a b****. What I don't get is why MS is so intent on having its own browser. With all of the other quality issues at MS, Windows 10 should be job 1, 2, and 3 at this point. Just install Chrome, let the devil keep spying on us, and move along. It's almost like MS wants desperately to get out of making real software and just switch to the easy world of apps (applets) vs applications.

    We are on the verge of converting the world to limited task computing, to match attention spans...a "proper" browser fits that plug and play model much better. Look how Apple is deprecating Mac OS in favor of iOS; Chromebook ascendancy; even Android expanding to the desktop (DEX). Soon Windows and classic Office will be buried in the bowels of the enterprise just like COBOL suffered a slow inexorable death.

    Maybe Apple is right on target with its "What is a computer?" campaign.

    How's that for a bright sunshiny Wednesday morning? :cool:
     
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  8. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member

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    One of the things I have to constantly remind myself when I'm out with customers is that I'm way on the enthusiast/tinkerer end of PCs.
    I'd venture to say that the vast majority of computers be they Mac or PC, are used with exactly what ships on them with the addition of a very few apps (like quicken or a genealogy program , or photoshop elements..) and that's the way they are used until they die and are replaced with a new one.

    That sounds insulting/condescending but it's not really. The reality is that most people (not the types on these boards) use their PC as a tool and means to get something done, but otherwise couldn't care less about what browser/word processor/spreadsheet they use especially if its already there to use and gets the job done. I think it's only when one of those becomes a primary tool that the majority might make a distinction and even then it only extends to that specific tool.

    And as a side note: Apple bundling the iWork apps was probably the smartest thing they did to sell iMacs and MacBooks

    I worked for a smaller PC vendor years ago, right during the initial ascension of laptops in to homes and small businesses. Our management could not understand why people were paying as much or a bit more for a laptop than a much more capable desktop. They did a study and the expected response, that they wanted a more portable system they could take with them was not the answer they got. In fact something like 85% of these laptops never left the table/desk they were first put on.

    The actual overarching reason most bought the laptop was simplicity. I.E. plug it in and setup it up and you're done.

    Thus the importance of being installed as default .

    Ok, I'm off the soapbox for now. Sorry for being so verbose on these boards lately:D
     
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  9. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    You are not verbose, you are spot on. Even at our law firm, anecdotal at best, I would say 60% of the lawyers never take their computers away from the desk either - it's an iPad that makes the journey unless they have a deadline project that demands taking it home. We are a Windows only shop but why I don't know - almost every one of our lawyers uses a Mac at home.

    I was around for that desktop to laptop transition (hell, I was here for adoption of desktops) and one of the real motivating factors in the early 90's was OEM's bundling WordPerfect, Word, or even Office Standard (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) with laptops.

    Ease of use and free software made the laptop a "no-brainer." There was famously a Bill Gates joke back then about "What is on Bill's VCR? A flashing 12:00 because he couldn't program the timer any better than the rest of America." Now all you youngin's think about that - how often was grandma and grandpa's, or even mom and dad's, VCR flashing 12:00 constantly? Your point is well taken - for those of us here and other geek forums around the Net, it is a passion, a holy war of sorts; for the rest of the world it is a typewriter, toaster, whatever appliance you can imagine to get their daily chores done.

    Wow, I'm two for two on dreary posts today...
     
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  10. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I remember the period during Chrome's ascendance. At the time, it was Firefox which had steadily siphoned users from IE:

    [​IMG]

    And there was one reason for this:

    Extensions.

    Firefox was customizable and fun to use in the rapidly evolving Web 2.0 world. But it became bloated and bogged down over time.

    Along came this light-weight Chrome alternative, that had all goodness of extensions and was leagues faster to boot. That marked the end of Firefox's reign.

    Now it seems Chrome is the one suffering from resource management problems (mostly due to sand-boxing each tab with a heavy extension library). I've switch back Firefox Quantum in the meantime, and it's a breath of fresh air...

    So you see the pattern: gradual extension bloat spells the downfall of a rendering engine, requiring an architectural shift every ~5 years—Chrome is long overdue for one.

    So I would say it's more caution than "laziness" per se, that the Edge team has exercised. On Edge, I install only the bare minimum of extensions (uBlock Origin, Microsoft Translator, and TamperMonkey). This gives me a surprisingly robust, yet reliable browser that I can fall back on.

    I think it's just different philosophies. Why must there only be one? (Can't we all get along? :p)
     
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