Whether you’re using Google Chrome, Opera, or Brave to browse the web, under the hood, it’s all based on Chromium. Chrome’s Blink engine has become more-or-less the de facto way to render the web. Microsoft has long tried to avoid that fact by constantly working on Internet Explorer then Edge, but it seems no more. Microsoft is reportedly embracing Chrome’s dominance with a new replacement browser for Windows 10.

Windows Central is reporting that Microsoft is in the early stages of a project, codenamed “Anaheim”, that is currently slated to replace Microsoft Edge for Windows 10. Instead of continuing to use the company’s EdgeHTML engine, Anaheim will reportedly be built upon Chrome’s open source Blink engine.

Just last month, we reported that Microsoft was helping Google bring Chrome to Windows 10 on ARM computers. At the time, we considered it a shock, as the current state of affairs leaves Microsoft Edge as the best browser for Windows 10 on ARM. Our guess at Microsoft’s reasoning was a desire to bring their Visual Studio Code editor natively to these computers, as it’s built on Electron which requires Chrome.

However, basing a new browser on Chrome makes a great deal of sense, as it would allow Microsoft to not reinvent the wheel by shipping their own entire browser, and simply focus on making unique features for Windows users. The move will also help web developers by eliminating the need to even consider how their pages will look on Microsoft’s default browser, as they should behave nearly identical to Chrome.

This isn’t a first for Microsoft. When the company revealed their Edge browser for Android last year, they also shared that it was built on Chrome’s Blink browser engine. This allowed Microsoft to include unique extra features like “Continue on PC” and built-in ad blocking.

Details on Anaheim are still slim, and our own research turned up no results for the project. Windows Central speculates that we could see it in action as early as April of next year.

Update: Changed “Chrome” to “Chromium” and “Chrome’s Blink engine” in opening paragraph.

Update 2: Changed headline from “Chrome-based” to “Chromium-based”

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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