Microsoft Goes Open Source on Key Part of Edge Browser Engine
The decision will give developers in the open source community the chance to get a peek under the hood of one of Microsoft’s key software products. The Microsoft Edge browser recently replaced the long-standing Internet Explorer when it was released as the default Web browser for Windows 10 earlier this year.
About Face on Open Source
The move to open source represents a major shift for Microsoft, which has fought tooth-and-nail against the open source movement, even as other technology companies, including Google, have pulled the curtain back on some of their core code.
“We’re investing more than ever in improving Chakra, and are excited to team up with our community to drive further improvements,” Microsoft said in a blog post. The company said it has also already received interest from a number of major technology companies, including Intel, AMD, and NodeSource, which are interested in contributing to the code.
Not Just for Windows
According to the company, ChakraCore shares the same set of capabilities that are supported by Chakra in Microsoft Edge, with two key differences. First, it does not expose Chakra’s private bindings to the browser or the Universal Windows Platform.
Second, rather than expose the COM-based (component object model-based) diagnostic APIs that are currently available in Chakra, ChakraCore will support a new set of modern diagnostic APIs that will be platform agnostic and could eventually be standardized or made interoperable across different implementations.
The company has said that it foresees a number of potential applications for the Chakra engine, including working with community developers to bring support for the engine to platforms other than Windows. “While the initial January release will be Windows-only, we are committed to bringing ChakraCore to other platforms in the future,” Microsoft said in a statement.