Microsoft showcasing preview of experimental WebAssembly support in Microsoft Edge

Vu Anh Nguyen

Ever since the introduction of Edge, Microsoft’s next generation browser to replace the long-in-the-tooth Internet Explorer, Redmond has not been shy about touting its new browser’s compliance to modern standards and advanced features, owing to the all-new Chakra engine. Backing it up, today the company has taken to the Windows blog to show off a preview of WebAssembly running in Microsoft Edge.

In the words of Microsoft’s Program Manager for Chakra, Limin Zhu, WebAssembly is “a new, portable size and load-time-efficient biniary format suitable for compiling to the web.” In simpler terms, WebAssembly is a new web standard that is expected to be much faster than current de facto JavaScript, much easier to add features, and at a comparatively low implementation cost for a new standard.

The preview shows the famous AngryBots demo from Unity, running in an internal build of Microsoft Edge. Similar previews are reportedly available for Firefox and Chrome, who are also collaborating with Microsoft on pushing WebAssembly. According to Zhu, the demo starts up significantly faster with WebAssembly than with only asm.js, validating the former’s advantages.

Microsoft has been doing many cool things with its browser lately, like open-sourcing its ChakraCore engine. WebAssembly implementation is just another step in bringing Edge to the next level, and we are excited for Microsoft Edge’s future. Those interested can follow the project’s design and ChakraCore implementation on GitHub.