Google Chrome will be able to move multiple tabs to a new window thanks to Microsoft
These days, Microsoft is a changed company. Its dominance of the PC OS market with Windows isn’t as impressive as it used to be in the past, because Android has overtaken Windows to be the most widely used operating system in the world. In the mobile space, Microsoft made multiple efforts to catch up with Apple and Google, but Windows Phone/Windows Mobile failed to become a competitive offering. Now, Microsoft wants its apps to be used on the software people use every day, which means it’s spending a lot of resources on building well-designed first-party apps on iOS and Android. A similar story is seen in the web browser market. There was a time when Internet Explorer 6 was the only major web browser out there. However, it quickly lost market share in the years after the launch of Google Chrome, and in 2015, it was deprecated with the launch of Windows 10. Its successor, Microsoft Edge only gained single-digit market share three years after its launch. As Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers had the most market share, Edge was in danger of falling behind as it simply wasn’t designed for a “best works in Chrome” web. Microsoft, therefore, didn’t see any other choice but to deprecate its EdgeHTML (fork of Trident)-based Edge in favor of a new Chromium-powered version of Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft made the announcement that it was switching to a Chromium base back in December 2018. At that time, it stated that it would work closely with the open source Chromium project and Google. After a year of development, the company released the stable version of the Edge Chromium browser (which is officially known as Microsoft Edge, the same as its predecessor) on January 15, 2020 for Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and macOS users. The new Edge browser is fully different from the old Edge, as it looks, feels, and behaves exactly like Chrome. Microsoft has thrown in a few features on top such as customized tracking protection, but for most intents and purposes, the two browsers—both built on Chromium—are very similar, at least for now.
When Microsoft made its initial announcement, there was a lot of curiosity about how the company would collaborate with Google, its arch rival. After all, the two companies had a long and bitter history of antagonistic behavior, particularly when it comes to the absence of Google Apps on Windows Phone. The two of them, however, have moved on from their issues, and they sat down to work together. Microsoft engineers are now contributing to Chromium, and this is benefiting Chrome users. The last example is that the new Edge’s multiple tab management feature will make its way to Chrome.
Reddit user /u/Leopeva64 spotted that the new Edge lets users move multiple tabs to a new window, an ability which is not available in Chrome Canary. This ability would normally require an extension. In a Chromium Gerrit source management thread, Google software engineer Leonard Grey said that the company would be happy to take the feature from Edge if Microsoft was interested in upstreaming it. In reply, Microsoft software engineer Justin Gallagher stated that he would take ownership of the issue. Two weeks after this conversion, Microsoft committed the code to make the change in Chromium to add support for moving multiple tabs to a new window from the tab context menu (which is accessed by right-clicking on a tab). This is the first real user-facing chance that Microsoft has made to Chromium, and the company has made more than 1,000 commits since 2019.
The feature hasn’t made its way to Chrome Canary yet, but it shouldn’t be long before it does. Microsoft is also making changes to improve accessibility, performance, and compatibility for both Edge and Chrome. Times are changing for both companies, and so far, the changes appear to be positive both for Google Chrome as well as Microsoft Edge.