19 votes

The new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is out of preview and available for download

9 comments

  1. [5]
    UniquelyGeneric
    Link
    Rather than celebrate Microsoft's new release of a browser, I feel more like we should be putting a candle out in this moment. Edge is now just a skin on top of chromium (I'm exaggerating, but not...

    Rather than celebrate Microsoft's new release of a browser, I feel more like we should be putting a candle out in this moment. Edge is now just a skin on top of chromium (I'm exaggerating, but not by much). We are increasingly moving towards a single gatekeeper of the Internet (Google/Alphabet) and that's almost as dangerous as the Great Firewall.

    The fact that the 2nd largest market cap company (the #1 a few months ago) cannot fathom the ability to support their own browser is quite alarming, to be frank. If a pocketbook that's a billion dollars deep can't solve this problem, what hope do we have that Firefox can fight the good fight?

    I truly hope this isn't a sign of things to come, since an Internet designed, processed, and governed by a browser monopoly will only lead to no good. I think the "open Internet" is a lot closer to China than we realize, except instead of gross censorship it will be an inability to escape ads, which even today are known to decrease quality of life.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      It's not that they lacked the ability or the money to successfuly complete the task, it's just that MS determined that that money be spent elsewhere, since Google is already pouring loads of their...

      The fact that the 2nd largest market cap company (the #1 a few months ago) cannot fathom the ability to support their own browser is quite alarming, to be frank. If a pocketbook that's a billion dollars deep can't solve this problem, what hope do we have that Firefox can fight the good fight?

      It's not that they lacked the ability or the money to successfuly complete the task, it's just that MS determined that that money be spent elsewhere, since Google is already pouring loads of their R&D money into Chromium. Maybe if Edge had become a staple browser among the big 3, MS would have thought otherwise. But for now, it's still the "You download Firefox/Chrome" browser.

      7 votes
      1. UniquelyGeneric
        Link Parent
        I suppose my frustration with MS is that they could have used Edge as a strategic play where investment in maintaining/advancing it would pay dividends elsewhere. Since they increasingly make...

        I suppose my frustration with MS is that they could have used Edge as a strategic play where investment in maintaining/advancing it would pay dividends elsewhere. Since they increasingly make money off of services/subscriptions, they could have invested into new/novel features of web browsing that would peel away Chrome users. This would simultaneously disrupt Google's attempts at consolidating their services into Gsuite/Chrome accounts due to authentication friction, while providing new avenues for selling services for MS (it's curious that MS is the only major tech company to not be engaged in media streaming services...even Apple half-asses it with Apple+).

        All that being said, I do think MS has shown plenty of incompetence in this space, so I'm probably giving them too much credit to begin with. Internet Explorer, Silverlight, and the Zune are massive flops that make Google+ look like Old Yeller in comparison. MS likely knew its own weaknesses and cut its losses with this shift...probably rightfully so. Apple can have their ideological hill to die on with Safari; Microsoft just wants to be M$ again.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      I think an aspect of this that's even more concerning is that—as far as I can see—Google is also the source of the majority of Mozilla's funding. In the Mozilla Foundation's 2018 financial report...

      I think an aspect of this that's even more concerning is that—as far as I can see—Google is also the source of the majority of Mozilla's funding. In the Mozilla Foundation's 2018 financial report (PDF), these sections are included:

      Recognition of Revenue

      Mozilla’s primary source of revenue is royalty income from contracts with various search engine and information providers. Revenue from these contracts is determined by the search and information providers based upon end user activity or as contractually agreed to.

      Note 12: Concentrations of Risk

      Mozilla has entered into contracts with search engine providers for royalties which expire through November 2020. Approximately 91% and 93% of Mozilla’s royalty revenues were derived from these contracts for 2018 and 2017,respectively, with receivables from these contracts representing approximately 75% and 79% of the December 31, 2018 and 2017 outstanding receivables, respectively.

      And in the actual financial data, it shows that out of $451M in revenue for 2018, $430M of it is from "Royalties", so search engine contracts should represent about $390M. I'm assuming almost all of that is from Google, since Firefox sets them as the default search engine in most of the world (including the locations where users are generally "worth" the most—North America and most of Europe):

      As part of our focus on user experience and performance in Firefox Quantum, Google will also become our new default search provider in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Firefox default search providers in other regions are Yandex in Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan; Baidu in China; and Google in the rest of the world.

      Google could basically kill Mozilla at any time by not renewing this arrangement and taking away the huge majority of their revenue.

      7 votes
      1. Loire
        Link Parent
        I imagine this is the idea behind Mozilla's recent push to monetize new secondary services.

        Google could basically kill Mozilla at any time by not renewing this arrangement and taking away the huge majority of their revenue.

        I imagine this is the idea behind Mozilla's recent push to monetize new secondary services.

        5 votes
  2. AlexMax
    Link
    I went ahead and installed it on my Windows machine and have been taking it for a test spin. So far, it has proven itself serviceable, and I decided to uninstall Chrome since having two chromium...

    I went ahead and installed it on my Windows machine and have been taking it for a test spin. So far, it has proven itself serviceable, and I decided to uninstall Chrome since having two chromium browsers felt redundant, though Firefox remains my daily driver.

    The only issue I have is that on the "new tab" screen, it appears that searches always goes to Bing and ignores your configured default search engine. Searches in the address bar always go to the right place, but still, kind of annoying.

    2 votes
  3. [3]
    mrbig
    Link
    Fingers crossed for the Linux version (jk).

    Fingers crossed for the Linux version (jk).

    1. stu2b50
      Link Parent
      I wouldn't be surprised, the screenshots in VSCode releases is in MacOS of all things.

      I wouldn't be surprised, the screenshots in VSCode releases is in MacOS of all things.

      1 vote