The wonders of packaging from Microsoft: the Linux kernel in Windows 10 and the IE engine inside Chromium Edge

    At its annual conference for developers , Microsoft made several quite important presentations at once. We selected two of them.

    First: in the summer build of 19H2 Windows 10, a full-fledged Linux kernel based on version 4.19 dated October 22, 2018 for its own Linux for Windows subsystem (WSL - Windows Subsystem Linux) will be delivered .

    Second: the IE core will be integrated into future enterprise builds of the Chromium reincarnation of the euthanized Microsoft Edge.

    The first news is important and useful for developers, the second is like a bad joke.

    We built IE engine into your Chromium browser so that you don’t forget that this is the Edge browser

    Linux Kernel on Windows 10

    Adding a full-fledged Linux kernel to Windows 10 is a logical step that continues Microsoft's methodical work with the community. Previously, only emulation of the Linux kernel was available on Windows. In parallel with the Linux kernel inside its system, the company announced the release of Windows Terminal - a new Windows application for centralized access to PowerShell, Cmd and, in fact, the Linux kernel itself in the WSL package.

    Representatives of the company claim that 4.19 is not the latest version of the kernel for their subsystem. In the future, WSL will be updated and keep up with stable versions of the Linux kernel, which is also important. In addition, the introduction of a full kernel in the system eliminates the need for emulation, which, directly, will increase the productivity and comfort of developers working from under Windows. In addition, WSL is based on open source code, that is, any developer will be able to make the necessary changes to the subsystem and make forks of the kernel.

    This is not the first major step towards the development community. Previously, the company integrated Bash into its system , which can be called an extremely serious step for a very conservative Microsoft.

    Microsoft’s actions are surprising, but no longer shocking: under the control of Satya Nadella, the company actually broke into the open source community and more and more focuses on working directly with developers and the enterprise segment, as evidenced by Microsoft’s actions over the past 3-4 years.

    The monster of Microsoft'a or why in Chromium Edge core Internet Explorer

    Everyone with a shudder recalls Internet Explorer, and the old layout designers also cry at the same time. When Microsoft announced Spartan and the abandonment of IE, around the world began to open champagne, but the reality turned out to be worse than we had hoped. There are still solutions, portals and sites created to work exclusively under IE of older versions. For the most part, these solutions live in closed enterprise solutions. Microsoft once had a choice: to force companies around the world to update their internal products and solutions due to the company's complete abandonment of IE, or to start fighting “in the wrong direction”. Since a complete rejection of IE threatened with billions in losses for Microsoft and reputation damage, the giant had to drag its browser compatibility from year to year with pages adapted for working in Internet Explorer.

    Even after loudly abandoning the EdgeHTML engine and transferring the development of the “default browser” for Windows 10 to the Chromium engine, Microsoft is unable to escape from its terrible legacy as Internet Explorer.

    Therefore, especially for the Enterprise-builds of Windows 10, the company will ship the version of Chromium Edge with a "surprise" - the built-in IE engine in the Edge itself. Such a strange solution will ensure the compatibility of the new browser with old corporate solutions that were once rashly nailed to Internet Explorer.

    When you open any page adapted for Internet Explorer in the new Chromium Edge, the browser will automatically activate the "IE compatibility mode" and connect the display corresponding to that in Internet Explorer 11. You can find out if the page is launched in compatibility mode by the special IE icon next to it with the address bar on the browser page.


    Microsoft itself insists that companies using outdated web portals should switch to the new Chromium Edge and completely abandon the practice of using IE + any other browser. Of course, any technical specialist will say that such a step to embed an outdated engine in a new product is redundant, but, in fact, now Microsoft is trying to save face and is doing a little charity work. The question is whether the giant will ever be able to say no to the business and finally shoot the donkey. It doesn’t work out yet.

    The conference began yesterday, May 6, and will last until the 8th, so Microsoft has at least one day to surprise us even more.

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