Microsoft recently announced that it would be switching its Edge web browser away from its proprietary EdgeHTML engine to Google’s open-source Chromium Project. That left a myriad of questions, one being if the latest generation of Edge will now support Chrome extensions. Thanks to an active Reddit community, and Microsoft Edge Projector Manager Kyle Alden, the answer seems to be most likely — you will hopefully be able to bring all your favorite extensions to the party.
We carefully note that you should be able to bring your favorites as Alden commented that it was the team’s “intention to support existing Chrome extensions.” While we want to take this comment as a confirmed yes for Chrome extension fans, Aldren merely noting that the company has intentions is positive phrasing, but not a wholly assured response. Microsoft may take its time rolling out a base version of Edge with chromium support, before taking the plunge into supporting an extension marketplace — or they may opt to forgo Chrome extensions entirely.
With Google Chrome currently placed at the top of the browser market chart, Microsoft’s latest switch to the Chromium Project might be the push it needs to entice fans of other browsers. Similar to the ecosystem pull that we see with mobile and desktop operating systems, web browser such as Chrome are beginning to establish their extension marketplace that might keep users in place; however, with Microsoft potentially supporting such extensions in Edge, switching might become a bit easier.
Alden confirmed a few additional facts about the upcoming version of Edge and future decisions that the company will need to make surrounding universal apps in the Windows store, noting that “existing UWP apps (including PWAs in the Store) will continue to use EdgeHTML/Chakra without interruption.” Developers will also be able to choose which rendering engine they would like to opt for in future apps thanks to a new WebView.
It was also noted that we will see the latest version of Microsoft Edge making its way to Xbox One, so any fans of Microsoft’s home entertainment console can enjoy browsing the web with an entirely new engine under the hood.