Not long ago a rumor was making the rounds that Microsoft's Edge browser was going to move to Chromium as its rendering engine. Microsoft has now confirmed that move to Chromium will be happening. The software giant says that it has increased its participation in the open source software (OSS) community and is one of the largest supporters in the world of OSS projects.
Redmond says that the move to Chromium will create better web compatibility for customers and less fragmentation of the web for developers. Microsoft also announced its intention to become a "significant" contributor to the Chromium project in a way that will benefit both its Edge browser and other browsers.
While EdgeHTML is being abandoned with the future Edge release, Microsoft notes the move to Chromium isn't the first open source project that it has helped with. Microsoft's mobile browser has been based on open source software since it launched last year. The current iteration of Edge uses open source components like Angle, Web Audio, and Brotli. Microsoft has contributed to Chromium in the past to gain support for Chromium on ARM-based Windows devices.
As for a timeline, Microsoft says that the move will happen over the "next year or so" with no specific date noted. When ready, a Chromium-compatible web platform for Microsoft Edge on the desktop will launch. Microsoft also vows that updates for Edge on all supported versions of Windows will land on a more frequent cadence. That work will also allow Edge to come to platforms like macOS.
Microsoft plans to continue to develop web platform enhancements that will make Chromium-based browsers better on Windows devices. Microsoft Edge users will need to do nothing, the current version of Edge isn't changing and will continue to work. Web developers can install new preview builds when they are available; the first preview build will be ready in early 2019. Microsoft has also promised to offer more details in the future.