Microsoft just announced that it is set to start rolling out the Chromium-based WebView2 Runtime to Windows 10 Consumer devices, which allows users to embed web content in applications. “It allows developers to leverage the best of what Microsoft Edge Chromium platform can offer and build seamless experiences for their users that incorporate web-based content”.
When it comes to Windows 11, WebView2 Runtime is already part of the OS, which is why you will find that most users are not conversant with it, as they have never had the opportunity to interact with it directly, only through the applications it is used to enable.
According to the blog post, “For Windows 10, we have recommended developers to distribute and install the runtime with their applications. In the past two years, more than 400 million of these devices now have the WebView2 runtime thanks to developers building and distributing WebView2 applications”.
Therefore, as a developer, you can make use of redistributable deployment to access WebView2 on devices that did not come with runtime, “but comes with increased development cost and has been a pain point for WebView2 developers”.
Microsoft has further indicated that they intend to extend their reach further to users with Windows 10 April 2018 or later update for Home and Pro OS editions. However, managed devices will not be included in this rollout. Furthermore, the rollout will make WebView2 app deployment more seamless and efficient for developers using Windows 11 devices.
WebView2 Runtime rollout will only eat up minimal space on your device’s disk space. This is because WebView2 Runtime and Microsoft Edge browser are “hard-linked” together. Microsoft had earlier indicated that they were going to use Microsoft Edge WebView2 to help developers once IE 11 was retired.
“The rollout will also be conducted in progressively larger waves as we monitor data and feedback to ensure users are having the best experience.” But for this rollout, it will only be limited to Consumer devices as they continue to work on the tool based on the feedback and data that they get from users. Managed/domain-joined Enterprise devices can expect a similar experience in the future.