On January 15th 2020, Microsoft Edge launched a new, Chromium-based browser, with the purpose to improve web compatibility for its users. What does this entail for Windows users and how does it reflect in our work at oculavis GmbH?
A big leap for Microsoft
The change was a big leap for Microsoft, who decided to shift to Chromium in September 2018, following the steps of another popular browser, Opera. Prior to that, Microsoft did an analysis of the main benefits and drawbacks of the old version of Edge and concluded that their userbase was not growing as expected, being restricted by the requirements of the operating system. Secondly, Microsoft saw how the requirements stemming from their usage of a different rendering engine compared to Chrome and Safari made web developers not invest time into optimizing their applications for Edge. These two factors combined convinced Microsoft to find an alternative that would leverage their browsing experience in favor for the end users.
Great news for Windows enterprise users
The older version of Edge (the one that comes by default on Windows 10 machines) was not backwards compatible with Windows 7, an issue that some enterprises had to deal with in the past. Under the Chromium project, Edge will run not only on Windows 7, but will help Microsoft to further extend on MacOS, Android and iOS devices.
For enterprise users who still rely heavily on Internet Explorer as their main browser, the new Edge Chromium offers an “Internet Explorer mode”, which will load legacy internal websites tailored specifically for IE, in a more modern and polished environment. This is great news for businesses still bound to the IE usage policy, who could shift to the Chromium-based Edge once Microsoft rolls out the browser by default to a vaster pool of Windows customers. Read more about Microsoft Edge’s roadmap and main features in this Windows blog post.
Testing the new Chromium Edge browser at oculavis
We are excited about the Edge release and welcome the possibility of extending our supported browsers list to accommodate the new Chromium Edge. The reason why we don't support oculavis SHARE on Internet Explorer, as well as the older Edge versions is that the usage of major Angular features and the WebRTC technology has been notoriously incompatible with the Microsoft browsers before. We were hoping for this to change, and the news from Microsoft are very promising! We are dedicated to offer the best possible experience to our customers, hence we allocated special time for testing the new Edge browser. What we are looking for is reliability in video calls and data exchange channels, as well as a smooth graphic experience for our Augmented Reality features.