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Microsoft to open source a part of its Edge browser

As we’ve been witnessing over the past several months, Microsoft is on a solid path to broaden the reach of its technologies, even if it means going the open source route. In a recent announcement, they have furthered this by making a key component of their latest browser–the part responsible for running JavaScript code–open to external development.

Microsoft Edge Browser

JavaScript was originally created to be the programming language for Web browsers, but in recent times it flexibility has enabled it to be used in areas as diverse as mobile phones, wearable devices and even in cars. This has largely been due to a platform called Node.js, which enables JavaScript to be run on everything from mobile devices to servers running Web-based apps. Now Node.js depends on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine to function–the very same engine that is used in their Chrome Web browser. The part of Microsoft’s Edge browser being open sourced is called ChakraCore, and it is an alternative to Google’s V8 JavaScript engine.

So why would developers want to switch over to ChakraCore instead of the proven V8 engine? According to Microsoft, ChakraCore has better support for the newest JavaScript version, offering added features and functionality. With an alternative platform now available for Web programmers to base their Web development on, it will be interesting to see the rate at which this new platform is adopted, and the new JavaScript features that will find their way into next-gen apps.

ChakraCore is already being used outside of the Chrome browser, although primarily in Microsoft devices. This includes the Xbox gaming console and Windows Phone, as well as on the server side to power services like their Cortana digital assistant.

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