Microsoft has added the native Windows spell-checking tool to the Chromium codebase as part of its efforts to offer Chrome and Edge users multiple spell-checking options to choose from. Chromium currently uses the ‘Hunspell’ spellchecker that’s also used by a number of other open-source projects like LibreOffice and OpenOffice. Believed to have been first spotted by Windows Latest, the Windows Spellchecker will apparently coexist with Hunspell without replacing it forthright.
— Windows Latest (@WindowsLatest) July 4, 2019
In a commit on the official Chromium Gerrit, Microsoft said: “This CL aims to implement windows spellchecker integration in Chromium project, so that user can switch to use windows spellchecker or hunspell spellchecker at run time. We need to implement platform agnostic interfaces to integrate windows spellchecker into Chromium. We also need to refactor some code to enable runtime switch between Windows spellchecker and hunspell spellchecker”.
The latest development will allow users of Chromium-based browsers the option to choose their own spellchecking option rather than having to rely on the default software. According to Windows Latest, a new flag called “Use the Windows OS spellchecker” is already available in the latest Chrome Canary build, though it doesn’t seem to be available in Edge Canary just yet. There’s no word on when that will happen, but it shouldn’t take Microsoft too long to implement the change.
To recall, Microsoft is migrating its Edge web-browser from the proprietary EdgeHTML engine to open-source Chromium, and towards that end, has been actively contributing to the engine’s codebase over the past year. Of course, with the continued adoption of cloud computing and the resultant increase in the importance of Azure in the Microsoft scheme of things, the company has been increasingly embracing all things open-source to position itself as open-source-friendly against Amazon’s allegedly open-source-unfriendly AWS.