Microsoft is apparently abandoning its Edge browser, or at least, the EdgeHTML browser engine. As per a new report, Microsoft is working on a new browser that will be based on Chromium, the open-source project behind Google’s Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, it will reportedly reach Windows 10 Insider Preview members soon. In the meanwhile, another report claims that Microsoft is working on Windows Lite, a rival to Google’s Chrome OS, aimed at budget laptops and tablets. Windows Lite is said to be an evolution of Windows 10 S, and only run Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.
As per a report by Windows Central, Microsoft is working on a new default browser for Windows 10, one that will replace the current default – Microsoft Edge. It remains uncertain whether the company will do away with the Edge branding when it launches the new browser, or whether the new browser will be released under the same name. The report says that amidst this uncertainty, at least one thing can be considered a surety – the company is abandoning its EdgeHTML browser rendering engine for Google’s Chromium instead.
What does this mean for end users? Users will no longer have to wait for Microsoft to play catch-up with Google (or in that vein, Mozilla and Opera), and in turn receive better support for most of the Web – as most Web developers look to optimise their webpages for popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The report notes that Edge on Android and iOS use each respective platform’s native web-rendering engines, so not much will change on the mobile front. Anaheim for Windows 10 is said to hit testing for Windows Insider Preview Fast Ring members soon, as part of the 19H1 developmental cycle. The report also points to Microsoft’s recent contributions to the development of Chrome for Windows 10 on ARM as evidence that the Redmond giant is indeed taking the plunge to abandon the EdgeHTML engine.
As we mentioned, there is another report doing the rounds of the Internet, claiming Microsoft is working on a version of Windows 10 called Windows Lite. According to Petri, the new operating system is said to be Microsoft’s latest salvo against Google’s dominance of the budget laptop market with Chrome OS. While Windows 10 S was its most recent attempt on this front (later rebranded to Windows 10 in S mode), it is reported Windows Lite will be completely different from the regular Windows 10 interface, and an evolution of Windows Core OS.
Windows Lite is said to be super lightweight, instant on, always connected, and able to run on any type of CPU. As we mentioned, the report claims that the operating system will only run PWA and UWP apps, while also stripping other legacy components from the OS. While the term ‘Lite’ has been spotted in documentation, and there are mentions in the latest release of Insider Preview builds and SDKs, the Petri report claims Windows Lite may in fact not be called Windows at all when launched, helping differentiate it from the original operating system. This, coupled with a new UI, should give it a “fresh” start in the market.
The company is also said not be aiming Windows Lite at enterprises, or even small businesses. Instead, it appears to be aimed at consumers and educational institutions. End users wouldn’t be able to buy the OS either, instead, only OEMs will have access. The new flagship level mobile SoC anticipated to be announced by Qualcomm during this week’s Snapdragon summit in Hawaii is also expected to be the first chip powering the first Windows Lite devices.