Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news

Microsoft is building its own Chromium based browser, What does that mean for Microsoft Teams?

Credit to windows central for first reporting on this. It’s as yet unconfirmed by Microsoft.

Browsers have an “engine” that render the pages. Microsoft wanted to replace the out-dated Internet Explorer with Edge, a new browser with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML. Microsoft Edge was designed to be a newer, faster browser. It hasn’t really had a massive uptake compared to the use of Google Chrome. Somewhere around 4% of the browser market if you trust statcounter.

From Windows Central:

I’m told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, which uses a similar rendering engine first popularized by Google’s Chrome browser known as Blink.

 

Codenamed “Anaheim,” this new browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform, according to my sources, who wish to remain anonymous. It’s unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface (UI) between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10’s default browser is dead.

This has now been confirmed by Microsoft. So, what’s the impact for Microsoft Teams?

Today Microsoft Teams supports

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Chrome
  • Firefox

Notably, Safari isn’t currently supported.

In addition to this, the desktop client is built on Electron, which is essentially a Chromium-based “Wrapper” around a website. Interesting Electron is an open source framework is maintained by GitHub that Microsoft now owns.

Each browser supported requires development effort and testing, and different abilities are currently supported on different browsers.

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From https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/limits-specifications-teams

At the moment Edge has calling and meeting support, but Chrome only meetings, not yet calling.

Chrome (Google’s browser based on Chromium) and Chromium are both key to Microsoft Teams because the desktop client being Electron/Chromium-based and Chrome being such a popular browser. I’m sure there is pressure for the Teams product group to support Microsoft’s browser too. If Microsoft is falling into the Chromium camp for their default browser, that’s more standardisation and slightly less complexity to support.

Also, today Microsoft Teams Electron desktop client is not in Microsoft’s own application store since it’s Electron/Chromium-based and Microsoft’s own app store policies. There was a “Windows S” client developed that was listed in the store, but Microsoft stopped its development. You would have to think if Microsoft goes down the Chromium route they would begin to allow Chromium/Electron apps in their app store.

What could this mean for Microsoft Teams developers? My colleague Tom Morgan has some information on that on his blog

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Unified Communications specialist Modality Systems. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP, blogger, has a regular podcast with UCToday at tomtalks.show and is a regular speaker at events including Microsoft TechEd and Ignite. He co-runs The Microsoft UC User Group London.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business thoughts and news