Google Gives a Thumbs-Up to Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge

Posted on April 27, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 27 Comments

Microsoft’s decision to adopt Chromium as the basis for future versions of its Edge web browser is controversial to some who worry that Google will work to undermine the browser. But the search giant appears to support Microsoft’s move.

News of Google’s reaction comes courtesy of a misreported incident in which a Google enterprise messaging service called Meet doesn’t currently work in pre-release versions of the new Edge: Some claimed that Google was “blocking” the new Edge, leading to worries that it would do so across its other, more popular services.

But Google isn’t blocking the new Edge. Instead, Google Meet only works with browsers that are explicitly white-listed. Because the new Edge is so, well, new, and is in a pre-release state at the moment, Google Meet just doesn’t know anything about it. But that will change as the new Edge evolves, Google says.

“We view the increased adoption of Chromium and WebRTC as positive for the entire Unified Communications industry,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge. “With the recent release of developer previews for Edge, we are thrilled to be able to offer a new preview experience of Hangouts Meet, and we plan to officially support it once it becomes generally available.”

I realize this won’t calm all fears. But given the history between Microsoft and Google, this is indeed positive news, and a sign, I think, that fears of Google retaliation against the new Edge are overblown. Maybe we really all can get along.

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Comments (27)

27 responses to “Google Gives a Thumbs-Up to Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge”

  1. bart

    Pleasant to read an article where investigating has been done, instead of knee jerk reactions on the internet.


    Thanks Paul

  2. aelaan

    I wonder, just wonder, how much Microsoft is actually paying Google.... It would be fun to bring that to the table. I understand that Chromium is open-source but the API connections to the plug-ins just work flawlessly. Once the browser eco-systems meld together... would it become something like AOL again... :-)

    • darkgrayknight

      In reply to aelaan:

      It sounds like you don't understand what Microsoft is actually doing. Microsoft is going the route of Brave and Opera, where they use the open source chromium to build their browsers. Microsoft removed Google specific items, like Brave and Opera also did to various extents. Also, since Microsoft is providing code back into Chromium, they are providing their own improvements to the code base and will help direct forward movement with that browser.

    • Craig.

      In reply to aelaan:

      Nothing, that's how much (for chromium anyway)

  3. PcGuy8088

    Until MS Edge Chromium works with YouTube notifications I will be sticking with Firefox as my main browser on Windows10. Strange that Brave Beta also has issues for months now with YouTube notifications not working. I wonder who owns YouTube ;)

  4. dcdevito

    Still doesn’t have editable search engines. I surely can’t be the only user that uses this feature heavily in Chrome.

  5. brduffy

    I guess I'm confused about how MS is using the open source project that is chromium. I never expected their browser to support Google's own services. I thought it would just mostly use it for its rendering engine.

  6. VMax

    Whitelisting user agent strings isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Google's attitude towards web standards!

  7. madthinus

    The whitelist contain just two entries:

    Google Chrome


    Sorry, I was mistaken, only one.

  8. harmjr

    Just wait once some non-thurrot tech blogers writes the article "No need to download Chrome, Edge is better" article google will kneecap it.

  9. silversee

    Time will tell. I am not so sanguine.

  10. adam.mt

    And the elephant in the room...this isn't how websites should be coded! It's supposed to be, test for a feature and apply it or not. Different actions based on a user agent string (white/black-lists) leads to browser specific features, a compatibility minefield and broken websites...a replay of what Internet Explorer did (back in the day) and Google has been accused of.

    • MachineGunJohn

      In reply to adam.mt:

      That's one of the big elephants in the room and yeah Google sucks for doing that against web best practices that even a script kiddie should know better than to do.

      But MS needs to wake up to the fact that there's an uncountably large herd of such elephants out there on the web and they're not going to make much of a dent in the "incompatibility with chrome" narrative, and by extension not gain any market share, if they don't further surrender and make the DEFAULT user agent string impersonate chrome so that services can't pull this lame brain numb skull crap. It's not just that idiot web devs don't test for IE/Edge/Firefox/Opera/etc, but worse that they whitelist chrome and safari like this so it doesn't matter if your preference has top notch support for the required features or not.

    • blackcomb

      In reply to adam.mt:


      Well... at least Google remains improving Chrome with new technologies and performance/security updates. IE6 barely received security updates.

  11. Daishi

    Except that Meet had been working on the new Edge and then it stopped. On a day when Microsoft had made no changes to the browser.

  12. jnaab

    I'm just glad that Google no longer urges me to install Chrome every time I visit a Google site/service...


    ...now if Windows would just quit urging me to try Edge when I change the default browser to crEdge!

  13. Richardsona39

    Still, it's odd how one day it was working and then it wasn't. I wonder if something changed in the Edge code where it suddenly became unrecognizable as a Chrome browser.

  14. igor engelen

    Microsoft has been putting a lot of effort making their services/software available on Android. Then there's the phone companion app on Windows.

    I don't think Google is planning to do something childish. It's a situation they could both benefit from. If only to annoy Apple.

  15. codymesh

    based on what Google does with their other largest open-source projects, it is on Google to prove us wrong

  16. peterh_oz

    I think the EU would be rather interested in any attempts to do otherwise.

  17. blindbuddy53

    hi, and hope microsoft and google has accessibility for screen readers like jaws, nvda, windows narrator. have not really used edge, and hope i can set up google instead of bing for web results with cortana or search.

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