large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google is still cheekily trying to poach Edge users

Despite the fact that Microsoft’s new browser is built on the Chromium platform, Edge users are getting messages from Google advising them to switch to Chrome for security reasons.

The messages pop up when users are in the Chrome Web Store, saying “Google recommends switching to Chrome to use extensions securely” (via Windows Latest).

It’s not clear what Google’s reasoning is here, but it’s likely that the message is prompted by the User Agent Strings that are built into the browser. These strings help websites identify what browser you’re using and what particular version you’re on too.

Related: What’s new in Microsoft Edge?

These messages won’t impede you in anyway – you can still download and install apps as normal – but they could discourage people from sticking with rival browsers like Edge.

If the message is really bugging you, there does seem to be a way to get rid of it. Users report that altering the User Agent String to Chrome will make it disappear, letting you roam the web unhindered.

But the fact that this edit results in the message disappearing shows that Google is targeting non-Chrome browsers. And it’s not the first time that Google has decided to give a thumbs-down to Microsoft Edge users – the company previously blocked Stadia access on Edge, again by analysing the user agent string.

Not all non-Chrome browsers have been affected, as a lot of browser developers have given up and decided to just embrace masking their identity in the user agent string.

Related: Why is Google Stadia blocked on Microsoft Edge?

When we spoke previously with Jon Von Tetchner, founder of the Opera and Vivaldi browsers, he bemoaned the current state of affairs.

“There is absolutely no reason why you should show different content to different Chromium-based browsers. The fact that we actually then have to go and hide our identity is crazy,” said Tetchner. “It’s anti-competitive behaviour.”

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.