Good intentions do not a usable browser make. And despite Microsoft's many, many efforts over the years to give Edge a degree of relevance in the browser market, things haven't worked out. And according to a new report, Microsoft looks like they are finally casting an eye towards the future.
While there's no official writing on the wall for Edge, sources have told Windows Central that a new browser engine is being built within Redmond that uses Chromium - the engine that underpins, and was popularised by, Google Chrome.
I gave Edge a solid go a couple of years back, eventually bouncing back to Chrome after becoming frustrated with how Edge handled bookmarks and small UI quirks that impacted my day to day workflow. More recently, I found the speed of Mozilla Firefox and in-built tracking protection, not to mention the way it handles spellchecking compared to Chrome, an absolute godsend.
Chrome might be the default browser for the internet at large, but it's not the only one. And it's also not without its frustrations. Chrome - at least until the most recent update - had a habit for using a metric ton of RAM. It wasn't the de facto king of speed. And the odd tab crashing was enough to cause many a pegged stress ball.
Last year, I spent a chunk of time playing around with different browsers. Microsoft Edge, much to much dismay, got a run for a couple of weeks. I mucked around with the early days of the Firefox Quantum beta. And then, just like everyone else, I went back to Chrome. But even though I returned to the home of Google, I've still been angling for something different. And over the last few weeks, I found myself using Firefox more and more, until the browser finally became my default option across all platforms.
The presence of this new browser, which Windows Central says is codenamed Anaheim, doesn't necessarily mean Windows will stop whinging every time you go to install Firefox/Opera/Chrome/Vivaldi/Internet Explorer 3. But it does mean their new browser will be more consistent: by using the same underlying engine that powers Chrome, one site should behave the same way across Chrome and whatever this new browser Microsoft rolls out. And that should extend to any mobile version of the browser, which seems logical given all the chat about Microsoft's Andromeda, their foldable Surface phone that's supposedly due out next year.
None of this is officially on the cards, of course. And anything that gets rolled out will make its way to those getting Insider builds of Windows 10, if you're brave enough to still be doing that after the 1809 rollout. And look on the bright side: Microsoft have a ton of resources, and more competition never hurt, especially in the browser market.