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Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser will support Chrome extensions

Last week, Microsoft announced a number of changes that are coming to its Edge browser. For one thing, the firm will be swapping out the EdgeHTML rendering engine and it will be building the browser from Chromium instead. Because of this, the browser is coming to macOS and older versions of Windows, and that also means that the app will be split from the OS in Windows 10, allowing it to be updated more frequently.

The next question would be what happens to everything else that's using EdgeHTML and Edge in its current form. Microsoft's Kyle Pflug posted some answers on Reddit, as spotted by Thurrott.

The biggest news is the team's "intention to support Chrome extensions". This likely doesn't mean that all Chrome extensions will now be available for Edge. Presumably, they'll still be curated for the Microsoft Store in the same way that Edge extensions are now.

Pflug also said that existing UWP apps, which include web apps, will continue to be able to use EdgeHTML. Microsoft will offer a new WebView that's based on Chromium, so the two will sit side-by-side, so developers can choose to use that if and when they want to.

Also, Microsoft is still planning to allow users to download Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) through the browser, a plan that it announced back in May. This changes things a bit knowing that the downloaded apps will be running on Chromium though. Most Google apps are PWAs now, but they're optimized for Chrome. You'll get better compatibility in downloading those apps with the new Chromium-based browser than you would have if Microsoft launched the feature with EdgeHTML.

Finally, Pflug confirmed that the new browser is coming to all Microsoft devices, and that includes the Xbox One. Of course, it would still be a bit of a surprise if it comes to Windows phones.

Aside from that, Pflug restated some of the things that Microsoft has already committed to with Edge, such as better battery life and touch support. The first preview of the new Edge is coming in early 2019, and the company will definitely be looking for feedback from Insiders.

Update: An earlier version of this article referred to Kyle Pflug as Kyle Alden.

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