Microsoft takes a step toward unifying its Edge codebase across all platforms

Microsoft is making available a new and different version of the new Edge browser to Canary channel testers on Android.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is making a version of its new Edge browser -- one which shares the same core as new Edge on PCs -- available to testers in the Canary channel on Android.

When Microsoft launched the new Edge browser for PCs, it also changed the logo of Edge on iOS and Android to make it appear that there was one, big happy new Edge family. The reality, however, was that the Edge browser on iOS and Android was not the same as the one on PCs. On iOS, the Edge browser currently uses the WebKit rendering engine and on Android it uses Blink. (I don't know if Microsoft's plans include replacing the rendering engine on Android. I don't think they are allowed by Apple to replace it on iOS.)

Microsoft officials have said their goal is to make the new Edge a truly cross-platform browser, based on the same core codebase. At Ignite in March, Microsoft execs outlined plans for getting Edge to run on the same codebase so as to improve their own engineering processes. Microsoft's plan isn't to replicate every desktop feature on mobile (which would be dumb), but to share features with the desktop Edge "thoughtfully," according to an Ignite presentation slide that my Windows Weekly cohost Paul Thurrott posted.

Android users interested in testing the new new Edge in Canary (meaning updated daily) can download it from the Google Play Store here.

Edge isn't the only Microsoft product where engineering teams are working to unify code bases. Microsoft is doing something similar with email and "One Outlook."