Has Edgebook Time Come?

Has Edgebook Time Come? Cybersecurity

Since adopting the Chromium rendering engine, the Microsoft Edge browser has offered almost perfect compatibility with Chrome, up to the possibility of installing extensions from the Chrome app store. And it also made it easier for Microsoft to support operating systems that Edge did not previously support, such as MacOS and Linux.

Now that Edge is working well, could Microsoft try to tackle Chrome OS? While a “light” version of Windows has been rumored for years, many other elements are already in place or announced to go in this direction. First, Microsoft does not hide that it covets the education market which is on the way to massively adopt Chromebooks. Certainly, inexpensive Windows laptops are marketed. But it is clear that they do not have the simplicity and security offered by Chrome OS.

Second, after years of stagnation in office.com web applications, Microsoft has been working hard. The online office suite will be the first to take advantage of the company’s Fluid Framework, the company’s open source framework for integrating applets.

What would an Edgebook do compared to a Chromebook?

Third, if the idea that Microsoft limits the possibilities of Windows developers was unthinkable a few years ago, times have changed. Many developers have generalized the practice of web applications. Apart from the Surface team that advances Windows, Microsoft now seems indifferent to where you access its offers, whether on-premise or cloud computing.

Finally, Microsoft now has the multiprocessor architecture necessary to lead the battle against Google, even if, at least for now, the company has focused exclusively on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, as opposed to the Mediatek or Allwinner chips. baseARM found in low-budget Chromebooks.

But beyond these points, what would an Edgebook bring compared to a Chromebook? And, given that Microsoft PCs are in a higher category in terms of performance and price, what would encourage PC vendors to support such a product? The most important point for Microsoft would be the emphasis on privacy, one of the best reasons to use Edge versus Chrome today.

Towards an “EdgeOS” without applications?

Still, Microsoft should choose to highlight other differentiating features to convince the positioning of an Edgebook. Support for Windows apps would be a natural counterbalance to support for Android apps from Chromebooks. However, the better the support for Windows applications, the less an Edgebook will be different from existing laptops.

One solution could be to recreate the original ChromeOS proposal by only allowing web applications. Edge already allows you to convert any web page into an “application”. Going to an “EdgeOS” would avoid sinking operating systems such as Windows RT and Windows S which did not offer full compatibility. In fact, if the current Edge had existed at the time of Windows RT, these devices would have been functionally close to an Edgebook.

Alternatively, Microsoft could extend its “S mode” to an even more restrictive “E (for Edge) mode”. This would be a more acceptable option for licensees who already sell Windows laptops at low prices in the education market. However, it would be strange to have a device running something called “Windows” that could not run Windows applications. And if one of Microsoft’s goals was to improve Edge’s performance on entry-level hardware to compete with ChromeOS, then a full version of Windows could perform poorly on such hardware. However, the lesson of Windows S is that customers are more open to restrictive environments if they have an exit route to upgrade their OS to more options when necessary.

One thing is certain: not only has Microsoft failed to kill ChromeOS, it has failed to contain it. The addition of Play apps has allowed Google’s older desktop-centric operating system to tackle more touchscreen devices with apps optimized for such an environment. This is seen in the evolution of machines, first Acer and Lenovo for the education market, and now the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which is intended for the general public. If Microsoft does not create EdgeOS, it will have to bet on the widespread adoption of the new WinUI announced at the Build conference to finally host a large collection of applications that can be used on low-power computers and tablets.

Source: “ZDNet.com”

Source: www.zdnet.fr

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