Microsoft's new love of partnerships is showing. The company has embraced everything from open source platforms, once described as a cancer by former CEO Steve Ballmer, to Sony, as it races to become the most collaborative tech company in the world.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the new Chromium-powered Edge browser the company is currently developing may one day come to Linux, once the bane of Microsoft's existence. The browser is already available in pre-release form on rival Apple's macOS.
As part of a Reddit AMA, Microsoft engineers confirmed that while they are not actively developing a port of the browser for Linux, they certainly haven't ruled it out. For now, the team's focus is on polishing up the browser for the platforms they've already committed to supporting, but Linux support can certainly be a follow-up objective in the future. The Edge team's Sean said the following:
"We don't have any technical blockers to keep us from creating Linux binaries, and it's definitely something we'd like to do down the road. That being said, there is still work to make them "customer ready" (installer, updaters, user sync, bug fixes, etc.) and something we are proud to give to you, so we aren't quite ready to commit to the work just yet.
Right now, we are super focused on bringing stable versions of Edge first to other versions of Windows (as well as macOS), and then releasing our Beta channels.
The Edge team also stressed during the AMA that while they're not committing one way or the other when it comes to the potentially ad blocker-breaking extension API changes Google recently announced, they want a healthy extensions ecosystem, which includes ad blockers. They might even consider built-in ad blocking if there's enough interest from the community.
Alongside that, privacy and a good user experience will be a top priority for the new browser. Microsoft has already talked about adding tracking protection to the browser and it recently also announced an autoplay blocker will be coming soon. A number of UX/accessibility improvements are also a part of the Edge roadmap. The Reading List feature from the old Edge will also be making the cut sometime in the future and the Fluent design language will be adopted in various parts of the browser's UI.