MICROSOFT'S BIG hairy audacious plan to move its "meh" web browser Edge onto Google's open source Chromium engine was, in part, Google's fault.
That's the claim of a former Microsoft intern who says that EdgeHTML maintenance was becoming impossible because Google kept breaking compatibility in Chrome, leaving Edge devs trying to patch its own software.
'JoshuaJB' posted on Hacker News: "I very recently worked on the Edge team, and one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn't keep up. For example, they recently added a hidden empty div over YouTube videos that causes our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail (should now be fixed in Win10 Oct update)."
He goes on to explain that without that indirect interference, he believed that Edge's 'fairly state-of-the-art' hardware acceleration was producing better battery life results that Chrome, and it was only after they had broken/fixed it that Edge stopped working as well.
He adds: "What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower."
'JoshuaJB' says that he doesn't think that what was done to YouTube was a deliberate attempt to stymie the progress of Edge, but some within Microsoft thinks that is exactly what it was, especially as Google reverse the changes that were impairing Edge performance.
Microsoft confirmed last month that it was moving future versions of Edge to the open source engine, with EdgeHTML being retained only for legacy Universal Windows Apps (UWP) and other compatibility use cases.
Reaction to the news has been mixed, with some hailing the further move towards a common standard, whilst others question the wisdom of having just three major web engines left - Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Chromium which powers Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi and of course Edge.
On the plus side, it does seem to have calmed down the browser wars with their annoying self-serving pop-ups, at least for now. μ
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