Google and Mozilla react to Microsoft’s embrace of Chromium

Microsoft today announced it is embracing Chromium for Edge browser development on the desktop. The news includes plenty of exciting changes, including the decoupling of Edge from Windows 10, more frequent updates, and support for Chrome extensions. But we also wanted to find out what other major browser makers think of the news.

Google largely sees Microsoft’s decision as a good thing, which is not exactly a surprise given that the company created the Chromium open source project.

“Chrome has been a champion of the open web since inception and we welcome Microsoft to the community of Chromium contributors,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We look forward to working with Microsoft and the web standards community to advance the open web, support user choice, and deliver great browsing experiences.”

What Google’s statement doesn’t say is the company still isn’t happy with Edge. The Microsoft Store still doesn’t allow non-EdgeHTML browsers, meaning devices running Windows 10 S Mode can’t install Chrome, Firefox, or any third-party browser. Microsoft has yet to say if that will change.

Mozilla meanwhile sees Microsoft’s move as further validation that users should switch to Firefox.

“This just increases the importance of Mozilla’s role as the only independent choice,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We are not going to concede that Google’s implementation of the web is the only option consumers should have. That’s why we built Firefox in the first place and why we will always fight for a truly open web.”

Mozilla regularly points out it develops the only independent browser — meaning it’s not tied to a tech company that has priorities which often don’t align with the web. Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), and Microsoft (Edge) all have their own corporate interests.

A Chromium-based Edge means a lot for the few users that actively use Edge, but much more interesting will be the impact on the broader web. Chrome dominates already — will this only cement its place or will the competition heat up?

We also contacted Apple and Opera and will update this story if we hear back.

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