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Microsoft Rebuilds its Edge Browser on Google Chrome foundation

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Microsoft is reportedly giving up on the core technology in its Edge browser for Windows 10 and will rely instead on Google’s browser software.

The new browser is codenamed Anaheim and will use software from Chromium, Google’s open-source project on which Chrome is based, Windows Central reported Monday. Specifically, it’ll use Google’s Blink, the browser engine with the key job of interpreting website coding and displaying it on your screen, the report said. An announcement about the plans could come this week, the Verge reported.

Microsoft declined to comment. However, one source familiar with the company’s plans confirmed that Microsoft indeed plans to package its own browser software around a Chromium core.

If the move indeed comes to pass, it’ll make life easier for web developers who won’t have to bother testing their software with as many browsers. But the flip side of that coin is that it means the web becomes less an independent technology platform and more whatever Google’s Chrome programmers say it is. Ten years after it was first introduced publicly, Chrome dominates the web.

The web already lost a major independent browser engine when Opera mostly killed its own Presto in 2013, ultimately moving to Chrome’s technology. There are still two browser forces independent from Chrome: Mozilla’s Firefox, which uses the Gecko browser engine, and Apple’s Safari, which uses WebKit.

Independent projects are useful for experimenting with new technology such as Firefox’s WebRender, which could make web pages display dramatically faster. Independent engines also let browser makers and web developers figure out the best way to balance priorities like security, speed and programmability when developing new web standards.

Edge, which is based on the EdgeHTML rendering engine, has struggled since it came to Windows 10 in 2015 as a replacement for Internet Explorer. It held a little over 2 percent of the browser market in November, according to StatCounter, while Chrome ruled overall at 62 percent.

Edge lags even Internet Explorer, the browser it was designed to replace. One part of the problem: Windows 7 remains widely used, but Edge runs only on Windows 10. So even though Edge and EdgeHTML help offer an independent voice about the future of the web, they didn’t have much clout in practice.

There’s change afoot with other browsers as well. Chrome itself just underwent its first redesign in a decade — Google has been rethinking its browser to keep pace with the massive shift from desktop computing to mobile. Apple’s Safari has been incorporating new privacy features, and Mozilla’s Firefox has been adjusting its approach to ad tracker blocking. The ad-blocking Brave browser is in the midst of a major overhaul, too.

Microsoft’s Edge browser for Android already uses Google’s browser technology, too.

If Microsoft does indeed switch to Chromium technology, it’ll be in good company. In addition to Opera, companies building browsers built on Chrome technology include Samsung, Brave, Yandex, Baidu and Vivaldi.

In September, Microsoft reversed course on a hostile approach to non-Edge browsers on Windows 10 by removing a warning against installing rival browsers from a test version

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Ericsson to Showcase Music Connect at Mawazine Festival 2019

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Ericsson has announced its participation in the 18th edition of the Mawazine Festival, one of the world’s largest music events, taking place in Rabat, Morocco from June 21-29, 2019. Through a showcase of the future technology, Ericsson played Music Connect to exhibit how the future will look like with new innovations that are developed to create immersive experiences for audiences of such big events.

Music Connect enables musicians in different locations playing together in real time with harmony. It will enable more people to enjoy immersive performances than ever before.

The higher throughput connection and ultra-low latency enables musicians to practice and perform in real time and perfect synchronization, even when they are geographically apart. It will also allow musicians with disabilities to participate in musical events and receive or provide training without physically being present – transforming limitations into possibilities.

Music Connect highlights how connectivity can transform our interaction with arts, and the ways that 5G technology will revolutionize this industry – by providing a much more enhanced, enriching experience through connectivity across the globe.

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Titans of Tech Focuses on Local Content, Infrastructure Protection for Socio-Economic Growth

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Isa Pantanmi, NITDA DG
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THE 2019 edition of prestigious Titans of Tech Award will hold in Lagos, Friday, July 19, 2019 at the Oriental Hotels Victoria Island with a special Roundtable on the growing importance of digital infrastructure protection in the quest to further Socio-economic Growth.

 

Don Pedro Aganbi, managing consultant, Technology Africa, who made this known to newsmen in Lagos revealed that the theme of the Leadership Roundtable is “Cyber security, Local Content Development, Big Data & Infrastructure Protection – Catalyst for Economic Growth And National Development.”

 

According to Aganbi, “An industry data claimed that Nigeria might have ceded about 70 per cent of the country’s technology market to brands due to apathy for locally made products”. Local content according to him is defined as the amount of incremental value added or created in Nigeria through the utilisation of Nigerian human and material resources for the provision of goods and services in the ICT industry within acceptable quality and standards, to stimulate the development of indigenous capabilities.

 

Speaking further he said that the widespread deployment of digital and other communication infrastructure is creating an unprecedented increase in the volume of data. It is this deluge of digital data that is now popularly called ‘big data.”

 

He stated that “data is the lifeblood and an essential ingredient for accountability in the digital economy.”

 

Aganbi noted that as the economy got more connected the need to safeguard data, secure transactions and protect digital infrastructure grew exponentially.

 

He explained that more and more people agree that the connected economy is precipitated by the Internet and is rapidly changing the way we work, socialize, create and share information. Indeed, it is continuously changing the way we organize the flow of people, ideas, and things around the globe.

 

The infrastructure, he said, that makes this possible undoubtedly is a strategic economic growth driver; and a catalyst for socio economic development.

 

So naturally the protection of such infrastructure, particularly of rapidly growing digital infrastructure, is akin to ensuring the survival of the emerging digital society and sustaining economic growth, he revealed.

 

Aganbi made it known that several seasoned industry experts and leaders are expected to attend and participate in the seminal leadership round table session.

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AfDB Hosts Masterclass on Women’s Skills in Business Development

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The fourth Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA)/Entreprenarium masterclass began Monday in Pretoria, South Africa, aimed at improving women’s skills in business development and financial management.

40 business women, who came through an online application process, will attend the two-day masterclass, which will cover financial planning, lean start-up methodology and business model canvassing.

A mentoring and coaching session will help participants to broaden their skills. The masterclasses are jointly conducted by the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) and Entreprenarium, a pan-African foundation that invests philanthropic capital in the training and financing of women and young entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the opening, African Development Bank Regional Director General, Kapil Kapoor, queried development agendas that discriminate 50% of the population on regulation, skills development, access to information. “We would like to put gender at forefront of our development agenda to cause a transformation that is inclusive. This is a forum where the Bank can do differently to bring about this transformation,” he said.

The training forms part of the Bank’s goal to support over a thousand women entrepreneurs in six African countries. Training has already occurred in the Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Kenya, and is under way in Tunisia. From the first three countries, applications for financing are being reviewed with a view to support the most promising projects.

Despite South Africa being the second largest economy in Africa, the nation has very high levels of unemployment (59% youth, 29.5% women), huge disparities in income and too many unskilled youth and women. Many youth and women face numerous challenges that include unaffordable bank fees for those on low incomes, a lack of trust in financial institutions, and informal borrowings.

Access to finance in South Africa remains a challenge, especially to black African women. Some of the major obstacles include inadequate financial literacy; the banking sector’s fear of their perceived risks of lending to women; economic empowerment targets that exclude women’s enterprises; and inadequate or inappropriate bank products.

Entreprenarium has been working with women entrepreneurs throughout Africa since 2004 and has trained over 2,000 entrepreneurs.

Speaking for Entreprenarium, Frédéric Ngirabacu, Chief Operating Officer said, “We developed this programme to support and empower resilient and innovative women entrepreneurs all across the African continent, because they have a right to the same opportunities as men to build their financial autonomy in a sustainable way.”

AFAWA is a powerful and creative new initiative that intends to mobilise over $3 billion of financing for women-empowered businesses in Africa to reduce women’s business vulnerability and liberate unused human potential for sustainable and equitable growth.

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