Microsoft’s upcoming Chromium-powered browser will be compatible with Chrome extensions, a developer working on the project has confirmed.
Microsoft announced on Dec. 6 that its Edge development team was taking up Chromium for future browser development. A day later, in the comments of a post on Reddit’s r/Windows10 forum, originating from a link to this news, users questioned on which of Microsoft’s diverse platforms this browser would be appearing.
Kyle Alden, Edge’s project manager, made a response to some common questions in the thread. One of these was a simple confirmation: “It's our intention to support existing Chrome extensions.”
In addition, Alden said that the new browser was indeed planned to come to all of Microsoft’s devices (including Xbox), and that the Edge team would continue to support progressive web apps (PWAs) that ran on the old engine, as well as ensuring Chrome extension compatibility. This is great news for the developers of the aforementioned PWAs, as it doesn’t force them to hastily recode their app for Chrome compatibility, but rather lets them do so on their own terms.
After seeing little success with the heir to the Internet Explorer legacy, Microsoft made the decision to strip out its proprietary rendering engine, and replace it with one built with Google’s Chromium instead. Since the majority of websites built today are constructed with Chrome in mind, this will make the ‘net surfing experience of the in-progress browser’s future users quite a bit smoother.
Existing browsers based on Chromium, like Vivaldi or Opera, already have the ability to use Chrome extensions, so this news isn’t surprising, but will certainly be a welcome addition that won’t put off any potential converts to the Edge replacement, and will ease the minds of web developers. We’ll find out for certain when the preview build appears in 2019.
by Richard Priday