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From the Publisher's Desk
February 2019

"Mass surveillance exposed by Snowden is about control, not counterterrorism." "
Oliver Stone to RT

Google will now have access to data on 330 million more web users: Microsoft's decision to use Chrome technology for its Edge app is giving the search firm even MORE power, warn makers of rival Firefox browser
* Concerns have been raised about the competition of web browsers
* Mozilla believes that change could undermine independence of the internet
* The Firefox browser has claimed that Microsoft will drop Firefox technology
* They are worried that web developers will decide not to focus on optimising websites for other browsers

Google's iron grip on the internet is set to tighten with the release of Microsoft's next internet browser, warns rival firm Mozilla.

The creator of Firefox has warned that Microsoft's decision to use the search giant's Chromium technology could undermine the independence of the online world.

Google's open source software will be used for an updated version of Microsoft's Edge browser, which has 330 million active users worldwide.

Critics have warned that it will create a virtual monopoly and make it more difficult for other web browsers like Firefox to compete.

It also raises privacy concerns over how Google - which has suffered scandals over data in the past - will handle the additional information it may gain access to.

Mozilla, whose Firefox offering is among the world's top three web browsers, claims that Microsoft is dropping their technology in favour of Google's. The company says that this gives Google even more power and dominance and prevent fair competition (file photo)

Mozilla, whose Firefox offering is among the world's top three web browsers, claims that Microsoft is dropping their technology in favour of Google's. The company says that this gives Google even more power and dominance and prevent fair competition (file photo)

Who Is Winning The Browser War?

According to the latest figures, currently just 4% of users run Edge, while Google's Chrome is the runaway leader with over 72% of the market

Chrome - 72.38%
Firefox - 9.1%
IE - 5.38%
Safari - 5.06%
Edge - 4%
Opera -2.18%
source: StatCounter

Mozilla, whose Firefox is among the world's top three web browsers, believes that the change could provide Google with even greater power and dominance.

'Microsoft's decision gives Google more ability to single-handedly decide what possibilities are available to each one of us,' a company spokesman said.

'Google's dominance across search, advertising, smartphones, and data capture creates a vastly tilted playing field that works against the rest of us.'

Microsoft launched Edge in July 2015 as the default browser for Windows 10 and as a replacement for its outdated Internet Explorer.

The browser struggled to gain traction, however, acquiring a relatively small number of users compared with Chrome's reported one billion.

The new move means that Microsoft will be giving up on its own infrastructure powering its Edge web browser.

MailOnline has approached Microsoft for a comment but had yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.

The code for Google Chromium, the platform behind the popular Chrome browser, will be used to make Microsoft's browser more stable and compatible with different operating systems - including Apple's Mac OS - the Seattle firm hopes.

Microsoft aims to attract new users on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac with a broader rollout of Edge, as well as providing a more stable platform for accessing web pages, as web developers will have one less model to adapt their websites to.

Mozilla is worried this could mean web developers will decide not to focus on optimising websites for other web browsers, such as its own.

'Will Microsoft's decision make it harder for Firefox to prosper? It could,' Mozilla continued.

'If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium.'

Though users of Edge will not notice any visual differences on the surface, preview builds of the new software will be available to test in early 2019.

Concerns have been raised about the competition of web browsers, after Microsoft announced that its Edge app will adopt Chromium earlier this month. Mozilla is worried that web developers will decide not to focus on optimising websites for other browsers

Microsoft announced its decision to use Google's software yesterday.

The new browsing app, which will also be called Edge, uses the same open source 'Chromium' code as Google's Chrome browser and its ChromeOS software for netbooks.

'Today we're announcing that we intend to adopt the Chromium open source project in the development of Microsoft Edge on the desktop to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers,' Microsoft said in a statement at the time.

Codenamed 'Anaheim,' this new browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform.

A preview version will be available early next year, Microsoft said.

'Over the next year or so, we'll be making a technology change that happens "under the hood" for Microsoft Edge, gradually over time, and developed in the open so those of you who are interested can follow along.'

A Brief History Of Browsers

Farewell familiar friend: Microsoft has confirmed that it is dropping the Internet Explorer brand (logo pictured) and instead will use a new name for its forthcoming browser, which is currently code named Project Spartan

Farewell familiar friend: Microsoft has confirmed that it is dropping the Internet Explorer brand and instead will use a new name for its forthcoming browser, which is currently code named Project Spartan

Internet Explorer, which was first called Windows Internet Explorer, was first released as part of the add-on package Plus! for Windows 95 in 1995.

Internet Explorer was one of the most widely used web browsers, attaining a peak of about 95 per cent during 2002 and 2003.

However, it struggled in the face of competition, and in May 2012 it was announced that Google's Chrome overtook Internet Explorer as the most used browser worldwide.

The brand has struggled to shake off the bad reputation of Internet Explorer 6, which was notoriously insecure. Internet Explorer, which was first called Windows Internet Explorer, was first released as part of the add-on package Plus! for Windows 95 in 1995, but since then it has gained a lacklustre reputation. [The above courtesy of Victoria Bell.]

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