Owen Williams is a writer and freelance developer thinking about new ways to get news. Created by Chargedhttps: //char.gd ), an independent newsletter and a blog that helps people keep up with the news that's important.
After more than 20 years of relevance struggles on the Web, Microsoft plans to revoke the basic architecture of its web browser in favor of Chromia.
The same thing is monumental and the Internet responded with both joy and hesitation as you would expect: the Internet Explorer legacy is finally dead!
But we just learned about a complete picture when Microsoft announced that GitHub will be held on Thursday and is even bigger than we might have imagined. Not only does Edge use Chromium as its rendering machine, Microsoft is actively investing in the further development of an open engine to optimize optimally for every device that touches.
Rendering is the software your browser uses to display webpages. Different rendering engines have different features and features that maintain their own parent companies, with the largest Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, and Apple companies currently in use.
Here is a bit of a long, detailed company contribution on why this change is doing:
"We will develop a Microsoft Edge architecture that will allow the distribution of all supported Windows versions, including Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well as Windows 10. Microsoft Edge will also bring other desktop platforms such as macOS Improve web experience for end users (better compatibility) and developers we want to use Chromium for multiple platforms, along with a change in the distribution model, so Microsoft Edge experience and platform will be available on all supported operating systems. "
Yes, that's true: Microsoft not only moves to Chromium as its rendering machine but starts distributing Edge on all supported desktop devices on the planet, and it starts building it on a Windows web platform.
This is huge industry-wide news and is ready to drive the web to first-level experience on the same level as native applications, and is a much better experience for a wide range of Internet users who do not have much of what a browser is using.
The Web has already absorbed the development of a native application overall, but it is getting much better. Here are some reasons why this message is exciting and the next chapter for the site opens:
Web browsers as first-class citizens
One of the biggest problems today is that, despite the popularity of Chromia, it is very bad at the resources queue: it discharges the battery, systemic means of the pigs, and generally does not play nicely. This was largely because Google and Chromium did not own their own operating system (except ChromeOS) and did not receive exclusive access to the lower-level APIs that use Safari and Edge.
Since Microsoft and Apple historically had their own first-party browsers, Chromium was always worse off: the project simply did not have the platform resources that these giants had, and it always built a layer beyond the official browsers of each platform.
This movement changes everything about this equation. Microsoft may seal Chromium into Windows and Edge browser in the kernel, which means that you can integrate a first-class experience into any Windows-Chromium-based native application, and it's porting Mac OS:
"In addition to Microsoft Edge, users of other Windows-based browsers may face inconsistent sets of features and performance / battery life in different types of devices, some browsers have slower progress and include new Windows features such as touch and ARM processors. , we recently started creating posts that provide these types of hardware support for Chrome-based browsers, and we believe that this approach can be generalized. "
Microsoft essentially claims to provide a top-notch browser experience, regardless of the platform you are developing, with exactly the same engine on each device. Not only does it want to optimize Windows for Chromium, it will also share this work, it will transfer it to an ARM device, such as the iPhone and to ensure it is a source of efficiency in the absolute core: OS level.
But what really matters is what is the result of the whole thing: the absolute best way to build multiple platform applications, on a scale we've never seen before.
Web as a platform platform
If you are a business of any size and want to develop an application for desktop or laptop users, frankly, the best choice there today is Electron. It is no coincidence that Microsoft acquired GitHub, which became a small project called Electron as part of this acquisition.
Many popular applications use Electron under the hood, including Slack, Visual Studio Code, WhatsApp Desktop and many others, especially because it's easy to focus on multiple types of systems in one common language underneath.
Today, however, the electron comes with a big drawback: it's based on Chromium, which means it comes with the full instance for every application that uses it on your computer. Having Slack and Chrome open, for example, runs two isolated Chromia instances, both challenging resources to do the same.
With this change, it's easy to imagine one shared thread for Chromium over Windows, which can be accessed by any electron-based instance. Such a change would allow Electronic applications to be more efficient, more stable and more user-friendly on system resources (especially memory and batteries).
Not only that, but because Microsoft provides technical resources each A Chrome-based browser, electron-based applications gain experience for killer users and is ideal for touch computers.
If Electron was already largely the platform of choice despite massive constraints, this will open a new tide of web applications on the desktop. Why would you build another language at this time, if you could write once and run everywhere?
Web technology is ready for that
Microsoft has been trying to build frameworks over years to allow developers to use, which has failed unsuccessfully. There were Silverlight, XAML, WPF, Metro, whatever you think, but for the most part, every technology has tried to attract developers to the scale that is important.
But recently, Microsoft has embarked on progressive web applications as its next platform. PWAs are one of the most exciting developments on the Web in years, allowing web applications to access many of their own capabilities without the need for a package like Electron. They work offline, can send notifications, cache data, etc. And many application developers, like Twitter, have created compelling PWA experience of first class work that works on Windows as well.
The ultimate power shift in all of these areas is Microsoft, showing how it is committed to the Web as a platform for the future of applications. They wanted developers to build PWA for Microsoft Business, but now it's the weight of their resources for these applications at home on the OS, spending a huge amount of resources to make them great regardless of whether you are using one in Chrome or in electronic packaging.
Not only is it the most constructive result of all, it is the key to opening the desktop environment for the next generation of web tools. Writing an application into customized targeting of all devices will disappear there, and Microsoft wants it to be your bet in the future.
The strategic differences are here very different from Apple, which largely ignored any feature of an open site that might endanger its own dominance. There are no Web alerts in the iOS Safari, or the ability to run a task or background cache, and so on. Marzipan, the development platform for the development of Apple's next-generation applications, basically has iOS back-loaded to work on Mac-based hardware.
Microsoft throws out all this nonsense that owns the platform from the windows and says it wants to give developers a great and consistent way to create applications that work anywhere written once. It seems to me good, and it will change the game after years of quarreling, where it is best to write a native platform.
As it turned out, it was the site all the time. I believe that it is the right horse in the long run that can be bettered, especially because the tools for creating websites are still improving rapidly despite their age.
That's just the beginning
Microsoft's early days and plans are not even fully baked yet, but I'm excited to move to the new equipment where web-based technologies are considered by the operating system vendors as first-party citizens.
To make it clear, there they are Disadvantages of this change: the web as a platform is tapering into the duopold of engine rendering, Chromium only, Webkit (the Chromium variant), and Gecko that controls Firefox. Less options are all hurting us, as the CEO of Mozilla said in a post about news that did not speak:
"Google is so close to almost complete control over the infrastructure of our online lives that it may not be beneficial to continue to fight it. […] From a social, civic and individual position to empowerment, the basic online infrastructure for one company is terrible. "
What's stunning is that it's right what's going on, even with a long history of Microsoft in web browsers. It was not so long ago that Microsoft was punished by antitrust law for forcing Internet Explorer users, but Microsoft has repeatedly shown that it wants to pass a new sheet.
It's true that the smaller selection is bad and may even hurt alternative browsers like Firefox, but it's hard to justify that Microsoft is continuing to build a dedicated browser that nobody really wants to use.
This is different this time, because Chromium is an open source project with several contributors, so Microsoft, which throws its weight behind the standard, can really encourage better project collaboration rather than just leaving it on Google.
If you can not beat them, join them and it seems that Microsoft is betting on the internet for a long track.