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Mozilla describes Microsoft as a sell-out for switching to Chromium

by Milicent Atieno

Microsoft’s decision to overhaul Edge browser and start using Google’s open-source Chromium project has rubbed Mozilla’s CEO, Chris Beard, the wrong way. In fact, Beard thinks Microsoft is a sell out for making such a decision.

By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google,” wrote Beard in a blog post.

Though he acknowledges the move “may well make sense” from a business point of view, he still calls on Chrome’s users to give Firefox a try.

Will Microsoft’s decision makes it harder for Firefox to prosper? It could… making Google more powerful is risky on many fronts.”

Beard is afraid that web developers have just been given more reasons to continue designing web services around Chromium. Instead of designing web services for the users’ experience, they will be fashioning it around Chromium. You then find scenarios where users are arm-twisted into using Chrome when accessing certain content online.

If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium.”

The decision by Microsoft to leave its EdgeHTML engine for Chromium, leaves Mozilla outnumbered trying to sell its Quantum Gecko open-source software.

You might remember that Mozilla just recently introduced the Quantum Gecko in 2017, which made its browser speed double up. Beard goes further to make the case for why Microsoft ought not to have adopted Chromium.

He says it will dampen down “more choice, more security options, more competition.”

The Browsers Market Share

According to Statista, Chrome holds 67% of the global browser market share, followed at a distant second by Firefox holding just 11%. Edge comes third with 6.97%, and Safari with 5.13%.

Nonetheless, Microsoft is adamant in its resolve to power Edge using Chromium and will be availing the browser also on macOS. The company has promised some powerful changes under the hood over the course of 2019 as it seeks to provide “better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.”

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