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.
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.”