Microsoft is taking a major step in its browser game this year. Announced at the Ignite Microsoft Android Iosvenkateshneowin conference, the company will be working to move Edge to a common codebase for desktop, Android, and iOS versions later this year.
This should make it easier for developers to write code that will work on all three platforms without having to worry about any platform-specific quirks.
More interestingly, this will also make it easier for Microsoft to update the web rendering engine that underpins the three versions. This should improve the browser’s ability to work with the modern web, which is becoming increasingly complex.
Code convergence is nothing new in browsers – even Google’s Chrome had it for a while before backing away from it due to performance issues – but it’s nice to see Microsoft continuing to push forward on this front, especially when its consistent efforts have left Chrome looking decidedly un-modern in some areas over the years.
Microsoft is also making a big push for Microsoft Account integration with Edge, something that Google still does not do. This should make it easier for users to access their stuff across browsers without having to re-enter login information on each visit.
Microsoft’s move could also help boost usage of Edge, which is currently a distant fourth in the browser market behind Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
While Microsoft is taking the big step of coordinating its efforts, it’s also likely that this will just be a first-step. In reality, Microsoft has already been working hard to make these guys look better than Chrome and Firefox on Windows 10. What they need to do now is follow through with that work and convince web developers that Edge offers them something useful and useful in particular compared to Chrome and Firefox.
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