A little over twenty years ago, US Attorney General Janet Reno stated Microsoft had “used its monopoly power to develop a choke hold on the browser software needed to access the internet.” Although Microsoft would lose United States v. Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft survived. The root cause of this near disaster? Microsoft’s attempt to kill off Netscape,Internet Explorer’s web browser rival. That was then. This is now. This week Microsoft announced it was abandoning its inhouse, proprietary web browser: Edge.
Underlining that today’s Microsoft is not Gates and Ballmer’s Microsoft, Microsoft is replacing Edge’s EdgeHTML rendering engine with open-source Chromium. You know, Edge’s arch-rival Chrome’s engine.
For years, we looked closely as first one browser and then another challenged Internet Explorer for desktop web browser domination in the browser wars. Then, in 2012, Chrome, briefly, came out on top. Microsoft’s days of dominance were ending. By 2016, Microsoft’s time as number one had ended.
Edge? It was never a contender.