Among the shared use of web browsers, Microsoft Edge has not made much of its name in the industry. The browser was launched in 2015, and no progress was seen until the year 2017. Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices division, revealed in an interview that CEO Satya Nadella was not happy with the progress they have made so far with the Microsoft Edge browser. Belfiore said that “Satya approached us and said: ‘Hey, I would like to see us progress more in the browser'”.
“Google is doing well with web-based collaboration experiences, the Office team is investing more to improve ours, we want the web browser to be better,” says Belfiore, delivering Nadella’s comments. “Edge had a pretty mixed reputation.” Google has been spending a lot lately to improve the capabilities of its browser like Google, on the other hand, is leading the game with almost more than 60% of web browsers use according to W3Counter’s browser statistics for January 2019. Something had what to change. Nadella believed that the browser has to go through a massive change. Ultimately, it was decided to start implementing the changes from scratch using Chromium on a new basis. “We wrote an article, we wrote the document to talk about an external site that Terry Myerson [the former head of Windows] had in October 2017,” says Belfiore.
The document was a script describing the benefits and drawbacks of Edge and Microsoft selected several terms for the drawbacks. Eventually, he called them “winds against.” In 2017, the problems associated with Microsoft Edge were not just technical, nor were they undoubtedly impossible. They were, hypothetically, the things that were stopping the process of their adoption. One of the winds against it revealed that “our use of the volume is low, partly because we are only in Windows 10,” admits Belfiore. “In the global world of all devices, although it is huge, [Windows 10] is a minority.” The decision to move the lead to Chromium was in the list of methods to solve the identified problems. “We had this meeting and this conversation, and at that time we did not decide to move to the Chromium engine.” We considered it, we said, “No, we think we can get there with compatibility,” says Belfiore.
As Google has a series of sustainable standards to accelerate Chrome and Microsoft to not have the structure to maintain, they wanted the assistance of the competition. “We did a little roadshow,” explains Belfiore. “We went and met with Bill Gates, we met with Kevin Scott, our CTO who came on LinkedIn, and Reid Hoffman, who was in our directory.”
The meetings aimed to visualize and obtain an external perspective of switching to Chromium and have an idea of what to expect from the relationship with Google. “We were a little nervous,” says Jatinder Mann, a program manager at Microsoft Edge. “The lucky thing is that, as soon as we made the announcement, we got a lot of positive feedback from the Chromium engineers, from other Chromium browser vendors who were very excited to see us join this community.”
After the news that Microsoft changed from Edge to Chromium, the work began under the collaboration between Google and Microsoft. Both of the company’s engineers had been working together several times before to help each other with the web design standards, but this alliance turned out to be very different. Microsoft’s Cromio has further strengthened relationships between technology moguls.
“Even when we spoke with the Chromium engineers about the best practices, they were quite useful,” says Mann. Google has even proposed good mistakes for Microsoft engineers to help them correct the base code. The process has proven to be a work progress for both companies. “The fascinating thing for that area was that the Chromium engineers had started that project at some point. I think they took a break, or that other priorities took over, so we picked up the project they had started and we finished it, “explains Mann. “We had a meeting with them where they talk about ‘this is on our agenda for next month, next quarter’ and we’re like, ‘Oh, we’re working on that now’ and there were some happy faces on the other side.”