The most recent speculation regarding Microsoft’s long-term Windows plans suggests that the software giant may give up on Microsoft Edge in the upcoming 19H1 feature update for the operating system.
Instead of improving Microsoft Edge, the Redmond-based company may just abandon the browser and develop a new replacement from scratch.
Microsoft’s new browser would be based on the Chromium engine, so essentially, the firm is building its very own version of the Chrome browser. At this point, Google Chrome is the number one browser worldwide with a share of over 60 percent on the desktop.
Microsoft’s idea of creating a Chromium-based browser makes sense at some level, especially because until now Edge has pretty much failed to gain traction and it remained very far behind all of its rivals.
But it makes even more sense when looking at the feedback posted in the Feedback Hub and which groups suggestions and bug reports submitted by Windows 10 users who actually wanted to give Microsoft Edge a chance.
The screenshot you see here highlights the “trending” feedback in the Microsoft Edge category according to Microsoft’s very own sorting algorithm, and as you can see for yourselves, all these messages point to problems with the application. Many of them are bugs that Microsoft needed way too much time to fix, while others point to crashes that happen right after start.
Certainly, the number of users who have previously experienced issues with Microsoft Edge is substantially higher, as only a small share turns to the Feedback Hub to report their problems.
And without a doubt, Microsoft is well aware of this, and the feedback the company receives was probably the decisive factor when it was pondering a potential switch to the Chromium engine.
As I said before, I myself tried to switch to Microsoft Edge several times in the past, as I wanted to rely on a secure and fast browser. I always thought that native applications are the right way to go, and this is why I offered Microsoft Edge a chance after every major feature update released by Microsoft.
Leaving aside the lack of extensions, which was a major deal breaker in the first place, Microsoft Edge was often slow and stopped working for no clear reasons. It happened several times to crash at random intervals when browsing the web, and on multiple occasions, it actually closed instantly without providing an error. Needless to say, as a heavy user who relies on the browser for my daily job, such a buggy experience is something that I can’t stick with.
Microsoft Edge has indeed improved in the last few feature updates, but Microsoft has only made baby steps when it comes to refinements given to its browsers. And when looking at rivals like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Vivaldi, it’s not difficult to see why Microsoft Edge has failed to gain traction.
For the time being, Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed whether it wants to give up on Edge completely and abandon both the name and the existing UI, in addition to the engine that powers it.
But what’s certain is that unless it embraces this radical change and replaces Edge with a truly capable browser, users would continue to switch to third-party alternatives like Google Chrome. And as Windows 10 evolves to become the one operating system for everyone, Microsoft does not afford to push users to other browsers.
The next Windows 10 feature update is due in the spring of 2019, so we’re only a few months away from the moment a new Microsoft browser should see daylight.
What will be more interesting to watch is how Microsoft manages to finalize a new browser in just a few months. Because I think everybody agrees that Microsoft just can’t afford to fail one more time in the browser market.