Get started with Microsoft’s new Chromium WebView control

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based web browser is getting closer to release. It’s time to consider including it in your applications

Get started with Microsoft’s new Chromium WebView control
Microsoft / Google / Vijay Kumar / Getty Images

Microsoft’s switch to a new Chromium-based version of Edge is well underway. The company has been offering Edge Insiders access to weekly Developer and daily Canary builds of the new browser for several months, and recently unveiled a more stable beta channel build, updated every six weeks, aimed primarily at end-users. It’s a well-though-out approach that signals a stable release sometime at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.

Changing out your application’s browser controls

The change is significant in many ways: most importantly a separation of browser and operating system. That link between the two had allowed the original EdgeHTML-powered version of Edge to slip behind its competitors, as it could only get significant updates twice a year, with Windows’ updates. Edge was perhaps not at the cutting edge of web technologies, but it was a stable platform for application developers, especially anyone using Universal Windows Platform’s (UWP) embedded HTML WebView controls in their apps.

A Chromium-based Edge doesn’t signal the end of life for those UWP EdgeHTML controls, but it does mean that they’re now in maintenance mode. They won’t get new features and will quickly lag the capabilities of the new Edge browser and any advances in web standards. As part of the transition to a new browser engine Microsoft announced that it would release a new set of WebView controls based on its new browser rendering engine, and that it would allow you to choose how your applications would use the browser control.

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