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Microsoft may reboot its Windows web browser again

Microsoft may reboot its Windows web browser again
[Photo: Flickr user Robert Scoble]

When Microsoft launched Windows 10 in 2015, it came with a new web browser called Edge, which replaced the aging Internet Explorer as the default and offered interesting new features such as Cortana suggestions and page annotation. Now, sources tell Windows Central that Microsoft plans to throw out that browser and build a new one based on Chromium, an open-source engine that was originally used in Google Chrome. The new browser is reportedly codenamed “Anaheim,” and Microsoft could introduce it next year.

While Edge has some interesting ideas, and it generally feels slicker and more responsive than Chrome, Microsoft has never been able to shake the browser’s longstanding performance and instability issues. That may explain why Edge makes up just 11% of Windows 10 browser usage, versus 68.6% for Chrome, according to NetMarketShare,

I reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update if I hear back.

A better browser would help Microsoft monetize Windows 10, as it would presumably use Bing as the default search engine. But it could also help Microsoft take on Chromebooks, which have steadily taken over the education market. A separate report this week by Brad Sams claimed that Microsoft is working on a “Lite” version of Windows that would serve as an instant-on, browser-centric alternative to Chromebooks. That effort would certainly be more credible if the core web browsing experience didn’t have to rely on Edge.

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