Microsoft gives up on independent Edge browser, embraces Google's Chromium

Microsoft will rebuild its Edge browser on Chromium, Google's open-source project that's the foundation of Chrome, in a move that gives Google even more dominance over the web.

Microsoft confirmed the move, reported earlier this week, in a blog post Thursday, saying the shift will take place over the next year. The company billed the change as an improvement for web developers who'll have less complexity on the internet and for Windows users who'll run into fewer websites that don't work correctly.

But it also means that there's one less independent voice in establishing web standards and trying to improve the core part of browsers. Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari, which once shared the same core software as Chrome, remain independent. Opera and now Microsoft, though, no longer will be in control over the core browser software that digests website programming instructions and presents the page to us.

"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," said Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows, in the blog post.

Microsoft launched Edge three years ago, trying for a fresh start after years watching once-dominant Internet Explorer lose its luster. Now Chrome dominates, in part because it's the default browser on hundreds of millions of Android phones. Google Chrome accounts for 62 percent of web usage, according to analytics firm StatCounter