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Microsoft will replace Edge with Chrome-based browser for Windows 10

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Report: Windows Lite is Microsoft’s long-awaited answer to Chrome OS

Some days are more interesting than others, and late yesterday, things got real interesting in the Microsoft-watching world as Windows Central's Zac Bowden dropped a bombshell: Microsoft is planning to ditch Edge and its EdgeHTML browser engine for a Chromium based new default browser for Windows 10. The site thinks that Microsoft will add Anaheim to the Windows 10 Insider builds sometime in the first half of 2019, so we'll see whether Microsoft plans to shine up its browser with Chromium then.

Microsoft Edge was released as part of Windows 10 way back in 2015 and was the spiritual successor to the ever-infamous Internet Explorer.

Still, the move is surprising as it's a big admission of defeat for Microsoft. The new browser will supposedly be way more powerful and faster than the Edge.

Microsoft was looking at ways to make Chrome extensions work with Edge, or at least make it easier for developers to port them, but we didn't quite expect it would go to such extreme lengths.

As we noted in an article yesterday, Edge's market share dropped again according to one set of stats - with Netmarketshare pegging it at barely more than 4% of overall share - and it has been going backwards for a while now, despite Microsoft trying to push it hard by various means. A brand new browser based on the Chromium engine could go a long way toward drawing in more users and resolving numerous complaints about Edge. Naming aside, it's also not clear whether the Anaheim browser will keep any of Edge's user interface or opt for a complete redesign.

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Whatever the rationale behind this decision is, Anaheim will likely be compatible with the huge number of Chrome extensions out there.

An announcement from Microsoft about the new Chromium browser could happen as early as this week, according to a report from The Verge.

As corroboration for that idea, Windows Central remarks that some Microsoft engineers have contributed code to the Chromium project in a bid to ease Chrome compatibility on ARM-based devices.

Download.com has contacted Microsoft for comment and will update the story with any further details.

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