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Not Linux gaming related, sure but still very interesting news. During their Ignite conference, Microsoft confirmed their new Chromium-based Edge browser will release for Linux.

The new Edge will release in full on January 15 next year, although it's not currently known when the Linux version will land. It's not just going to be using Chromium behind the scenes though, Microsoft are actively contributing to the open source code. This was talked about during their recent "State of the browser: Microsoft Edge" presentation.

Image Source: Microsoft.

During the presentation when the slide above was on-screen, Microsoft's Colleen Williams simply said "[…] and Linux is coming at a later time." towards the end of the slide. Hilariously, if you turn your volume up you can hear a single "woo!" from someone in the crowd. You can watch the event yourself here. Linux is mentioned at 08:34.

Microsoft also confirmed during the presentation that the new Edge will be compatible with Chrome extensions, with most being able to work without any change. It will also include a web-based cross-platform store, so it won't be tied to Windows.

I think it's good that Microsoft is moving towards open source software, rather than sticking to their own proprietary projects. Enabling users to have their favourite applications on Linux breaks down another barrier to entry, which is a really important point. I know, I know, Edge is not exactly one of those big favourite applications (yet). My wider point here is that change can be difficult for anyone, even a small change, so if you can keep a few things the same it makes it easier. We all know someone, or we've seen it mentioned somewhere about x application not being available on Linux.

Options are good. Microsoft being more open is great. Hopefully this keeps up, could you imagine if they fully opened up something like DirectX/Direct3D in future and made it cross-platform or they slowly dropped it in favour of an open standard like they're doing here with Edge? Certainly would be interesting.

What do you think? Will you try it? Unleash your mind in the comments.

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Tags: Apps, Misc
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mylka Nov 5, 2019
Quoting: stud68Maybe get Netflix in 4k with this.
I hate having to switch over to the TV to watch 4k.

i think thats some DRM thing, which also wont be available on linux with edge
i dont need the 4K, but surround sound... would be nice to have both on linux desktop
Ehvis Nov 5, 2019
I had my chuckle for today. So at least it was worth something! :D
Shmerl Nov 5, 2019
Despite all this "MS changed for the better", they only switch to open standards once they lose market power in that field. They utterly lost browser wars, that's why they are so nice with Edge and etc.

In order for them to back down from DX lock-in and to support Vulkan, they need to lose gaming market wars. One thing that could be a heavy blow for them are streaming services. I.e. imagine Xbox market share dropping, due to console users using Stadia and etc. Consequently, it would be a very heavy blow for DX, since Xbox is the only enforced lock-in where DX is required (on Windows you can avoid it).

So, I wish luck to Stadia weakening the major holdout of MS nastiness. It might eventually force MS to start supporting open standards for gaming indeed.

Last edited by Shmerl on 5 November 2019 at 5:04 pm UTC
Alm888 Nov 5, 2019
Quoting: LinasChrome is becoming the new Internet Explorer. Quite literally.
Literally… Like, butchered the poor bastard, scalped it and put is skin on the face as a "mask"? Yaiks! Under this POV, Chrome masquerading as IE (AKA "Edge") is kind of disgusting.

Quoting: Liam DaweWeird, worked fine in Firefox for me and I don't think I have anything fancy installed.
This is kind of self-induced. Me using Waterfox 2019.10 (AKA "Waterfox Classic", AKA "Firefox 52 with security patches") with NoScript did not help the situation. Still, I have permitted everything sane there (and besides, YouTube works for me just fine), so the error is on their side (unsupported video format?).
poke86 Nov 5, 2019
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Next step : Windows becomes an Ubuntu flavour.

Welcome to The Twilight Zone.
Cyril Nov 5, 2019
I just want to say: LOL.
stud68 Nov 5, 2019
Quoting: mylka
Quoting: stud68Maybe get Netflix in 4k with this.
I hate having to switch over to the TV to watch 4k.

i think thats some DRM thing, which also wont be available on linux with edge
i dont need the 4K, but surround sound... would be nice to have both on linux desktop

It is DRM I know. But it is the only browser to support Playready and the Windows leaked version works with Netflix 4k so I wait with baited breath.........

As for surround I use the dcaenc with spdif to Denon AV receiver works great.
einherjar Nov 5, 2019
I don't need it. I can not see any advantage over using Firefox.

And hey, it is MS. They are only nice if they are forced to and I am sure, they have some strategy in mind that leeds to the next Vendor Lock In.

And do I want to give them access to my privacy? NO! If I wanted that, I would be using Win10 :P
Interknet Nov 5, 2019
Microsoft is the very reason I moved to Linux.
Open source or not, using Edge isn't on the cards for me, even if it uses what Firefox does instead of Chromium framework.

That and the UI is... meh.
Pikolo Nov 5, 2019
This has nothing to do with desktop users - MS want Edge to be used on CI servers running Selenium or Puppeteer, improving compatibility with future websites. Windows CI is a lot rarer than Linux CI and so few people tested Edge compatibility continuously - if there was attention paid, it was often late in development, and the bugs might have been overlooked. Firefox support in this area is better than edges, but it's not great either - Google develops new browser automation frameworks with a Chrome first approach and it shows.
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