Mozilla Sounds Alarm Bell On Google Browser Monopoly As Microsoft Adopts Chromium
Earlier this week a rumor surfaced that Microsoft was moving its Edge browser from its own custom EdgeHTML rendering engine over to Chromium. Microsoft confirmed that rumor as accurate yesterday despite not giving a firm timeline for when the move would happen. All Microsoft said for a timetable was "in the next year or so" and noted that Edge on Chromium would be updated more frequently and would land for macOS. Naturally, Mozilla isn't happy at all about Microsoft's decision on adopting Chromium.
Mozilla says that Microsoft is "officially giving up" on an independent shared platform for the internet. It goes on to write that by adopting Chromium, Microsoft has handed Google even more control of online life. The rendering engines browsers use determines the core capabilities like what content consumers can see, how secure users are when watching content, and how much control the user has over what websites and services can do. Mozilla laments that Microsoft's decision gives Google the ability "to single-handedly decide what possibilities are available to each of us."
Some might see this as Mozilla ire against Microsoft for not choosing to use Mozilla's own Gecko Quantum rendering engine, but Mozilla makes a good point. It notes that Google "is so close" to near complete control of the infrastructure of everyone's online lives that it isn't profitable for Microsoft to fight.
Mozilla writes, "Google is a fierce competitor with highly talented employees and a monopolistic hold on unique assets. Google’s dominance across search, advertising, smartphones, and data capture creates a vastly tilted playing field that works against the rest of us."
Mozilla says that Microsoft's decision could make it harder for Firefox to prosper. It also notes that if Chromium has enough market share, it could make it easier for web developers to ignore Firefox, ensuring that their websites and services function on other browsers. Microsoft had this sort of hold on the internet years ago before Firefox was released. Back then, web developers primarily focused on making things work with Internet Explorer, and if you wanted to use many websites, you had no choice but to use IE. Mozilla seems a bit self-serving in its ending calling on people to try Firefox for a week and see if they like it. Using Firefox forces developers to think beyond Chrome according to Mozilla.