What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9, English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)
I start of an article about the browser wars with a scripture? Most definitely. That is a very appropriate scripture for what I have learned today.
The browser wars were already reignited in the past few days when Microsoft’s Windows 10 loaded with their new Edge browser as the default browser. Mozilla fired the first salvo after this occurred with an open letter to Microsoft’s CEO. Never mind that this could once again land Microsoft in front of European anti-trust authorities known for being very touchy about monopolies (nearly as touchy as the U.S. once was).
However, what I found today has nothing to do with Mozilla and the growing in popularity Firefox. This has to do with Google and their Chrome browser.
First, a quick step back to a few months ago. Firefox overhauled its base code recently. If you look in their “About” information, they clearly indicate they borrowed from the Chromium project, which is the base of the Chrome browser. Given that Chrome has won many UI/UX hearts and minds, that was a good move for Firefox to add the Chrome UI/UX to their stability and reliability.
Back to present day, Microsoft has a brand new browser. For a long time, it was referred to as Project Spartan. Microsoft even put a public website out there to introduce the browser under that name before they finally landed on the current name. Eventually, they decided to name it Edge, after the name of the engine the browser was built on. They even tried to keep a familiar look on the logo, which I addressed in an earlier post.
Microsoft has been accused of borrowing generously from Ubuntu for the overall Windows 10 look and feel. Well, they borrowed on the Edge browser, too.
Here is a shot from a traffic tracker on one website I maintain. This is my traffic on that site today. Notice how it says Firefox 39 and Chrome 42? I was only on that site with Firefox and Edge. That’s right. Firefox incorporates parts of Chrome and at least they make the browser signature still detect as Firefox. But Microsoft uses Chrome as a base of Edge, and they don’t even mark it as their own?
So, Google gets some credit in a roundabout way. But I don’t believe Google is the winner here. I believe the winder here is Microsoft.
Chrome gets high points for UX/UI, but is a notorious resource hog. Just go look at your task manager while Chrome is in use. There is a task for every tab, plus more depending on what you’re doing. Microsoft, on the other hand, has taken Chrome’s UI/UX and improved it, made it more stable, and made it run smoother!
Before you say “Where’s your proof?”, I’m not attempting to give you a scientific approach. I enjoy Edge. I personally like its usability over the rest of them. It fits my usage. I just thought this would be an important little detail to share. Microsoft did some great work, but they shouldn’t get all the credit considering this, right?