Google Now Forces Microsoft Edge Preview Users to Use Chrome for the Modern YouTube Experience

Posted on May 28, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Google, Microsoft with 49 Comments

Microsoft started testing a new Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium a little while ago. The company has been releasing new canary and dev builds for the browser over the last few weeks, and the preview is actually really great. In fact, I have been using the new Microsoft Edge Canary on my main Windows machine and my MacBook Pro for more than a month, and it’s really good.

But if you watch YouTube quite a lot, you will face a new problem on the new Edge. It turns out, Google has randomly disabled the modern YouTube experience for users of the new Microsoft Edge. Users are now redirected to the old YouTube experience, which lacks the modern design as well as the dark theme for YouTube, as first spotted by Gustave Monce. And when you try to manually access the new YouTube from youtube.com/new, YouTube simply asks users to download Google Chrome, stating that the Edge browser isn’t supported. Ironically, the same page states “We support the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Edge.”

The change affects the latest versions of Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels. It is worth noting that the classic Microsoft Edge based on EdgeHTML continues to work fine with the modern YouTube experience.

The weird thing here is that Microsoft has been working closely with Google engineers on the new Edge and Chromium. Both the companies engineers are working closely to improve Chromium and introduce new features like ARM64 support to Chromium. So it’s very odd that Google would prevent users of the new Microsoft Edge browser from using the modern YouTube experience. This is most likely an error on Google’s part, but it could be intentional, too — we really don’t know for now.

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Comments (49)

49 responses to “Google Now Forces Microsoft Edge Preview Users to Use Chrome for the Modern YouTube Experience”

  1. Avatar

    dontbe evil

    what a surprise /s


    "don't be evil"

  2. Avatar

    Bats

    Stuff like this happens when a component in Chrome is not working or disabled. Being that Microsoft stripped a lot of processes out of their version of the Chromium browser, I wouldn't be totally surprised.


  3. Avatar

    falken

    Question is, who is the nazi faker here.

  4. Avatar

    Patrick3D

    Old Youtube design is better, less whitespace and more content on the screen at one time.

  5. Avatar

    tboggs13

    I dislike Google more than the next guy, but I have to give them the benefit of the doubt here. At least the company. I could see a rogue internal developer getting cheeky, but Google could lose a lot of external developer good will by playing these games with websites.


    Other than that, I have had enough Microsoft sites fail to work properly with Microsoft browsers, that this seems like a minor issue. At least it still works. If we still have these issues after Edgium is the Windows default, then I will get concerned.

    • Avatar

      codymesh

      In reply to tboggs13:

      i'm not giving them the benefit of the doubt. What's even the rationale for blocking a browser? Especially one that is basically identical to the one they ship and test on? It makes no sense.


      A Mozilla engineer explained how each time Google did an 'oopsie' like this, they lost users. If this continues, they will no doubt be proven right

  6. Avatar

    rmac

    You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth.

  7. Avatar

    TheJoeFin

    Google has explained this before. Teams at Google use a whitelist of supported browsers. Since the new Edge has a new User Agent String it comes up not supported.


    This issues is created because the team at Google doesn't want to write the code which would check to see if a browser supports all of the needed features, instead they just whitelist a few browsers they know work.

    • Avatar

      shadetc

      In reply to TheJoeFin:

      I did a bit of testing and it looks like it is specifically searching for "Edg" for blocking it. It's case sensitive (edg will not trigger it), and it will allow "Edge" if the final "e" is included.


      Using the developer tools I changed the user agent string to the following ones and here's what worked and didn't work. As you can see it's not a hard white list as lots of random items seem to work for the final agent identifier.


      Worked:

      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 Edge/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 TotallyNotMicrosoft/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 Netscape/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 IE6/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 Fooedg/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 FooEdge/76.0.167.1


      Didn't Work:

      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 Edg/76.0.167.1 (This is the actual Chromium Edge Agent String)


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 TotallyNotMicrosoftEdg/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 EdgBrowser/76.0.167.1


      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/76.0.3800.0 Safari/537.36 FooEdg/76.0.167.1






      • Avatar

        TheJoeFin

        In reply to ShadeTC:


        This is super interesting! It seems this would prove that Google (at least the YouTube Team) is targeting the Chromium Edge browser and excluding it. Very different behavior than what Google officially described when this blocking was happening on Google Docs and Google Hangouts.


        This Chromium Edge will be a true test of open source and how big companies react to their work being leveraged by direct competitors.

      • Avatar

        ianhead

        In reply to ShadeTC:

        Great post. Just tried this myself, with the same results. So they are actively singling out the Chromium version of Edge for blacklisting, over other Chromium-based browsers like Opera/Vivaldi/Brave that report themselves in their user agents. I can't think of any possible reason that they would have to do this aside from trying to sabotage Edge's adoption.

    • Avatar

      Ben Lee

      In reply to TheJoeFin:

      The new experience had been working fine until today, this has been actively disabled.

  8. Avatar

    Lordbaal

    It sounds like you are trying to give them a pass.

    If Microsoft does the same thing to their site and block all Chrome users. I'll bet you'll be complaining.

  9. Avatar

    Lordbaal

    This is Google's fault. They did something to make it not look the same as in Chrome. Because Yesterday it was working just fine.

  10. Avatar

    hybrilynx

    Google better watch it. My laptop is ran by Microsoft, they can overall prevent Chrome from ever being installed to begin with.

  11. Avatar

    kjb434

    Neowin got an update from Google noting this was a "bug" and it is getting corrected.


    I call BS.

  12. Avatar

    remc86007

    I guess this is a knock on Google; I thought the old version was actually a new, better version...the old one runs way faster.

  13. Avatar

    datameister

    So what did Microsoft change to make the new Edge uncompatible? That would be my first question when using alpha software. It works in old Edge right?

  14. Avatar

    elijah fowler

    I did some debugging and discovered that this isn't Google blocking Edge Preview from using the new UI, it's because Microsoft typo'd the user agent string, so instead of "Edge/76..." it's "Edg/76...". Fixing the user agent string in the developer tools causes the new UI to render in Edge preview.


    Instead of going with clickbait titles and content that is just plain ignorant, people might want to actually find out the truth before reporting something as fact.


    But maybe I'm just old school and telling the truth for truth's sake is not a marketable product.


    TLDR; The Microsoft Edge Team fucked up and typo'd something that causes YouTube to only render the old interface on the Edge Preview, Google is not to blame.

    • Avatar

      codymesh

      In reply to elijah fowler:

      NO.


      "Edg" is the new agent string used by the new browser by design, because "Edge" is used by old Edge.


      And because "Edg" is for the new browser, Google is in fact explicitly blocking this browser in particular.


      twitter.com/sinclairinator/status/1133449834646638593


      Either way, no matter what, any kind of whitelisting is stupid, and blacklisting a browser that is basically identical to Chrome which they test with is also stupid.


      Stop making excuses! Stop f*cking up the web!

    • Avatar

      Lordbaal

      In reply to elijah fowler:

      It is not Microsoft. It is Google. YouTube looked fine all weekend. Edge haven't been updated since last Thursday.

      Then all the sudden since yesterday it started to look like the old UI.

  15. Avatar

    Jeff.Bane

    They did this with the youtube Windows Phone app as well.

  16. Avatar

    Lateef Alabi-Oki

    You guys are using alpha software, and are whining about how it doesn't work as expected. Seriously, stop all this bitching. Edge on Chromium is not even stable yet. Bitch when it's stable and Google breaks things. Jesus Christ!


    There are other Chromium and non-Chromium based browsers that work just fine with Google services. Why hasn't Google broken their services for these browsers.


    Google makes money when you use their services. It's the reason they invested in a their own browser and open sourced it. It's the reasons they've invested in the web the last 20 years. It's the reason they've invested in Open Source, in general.


    It's makes no goddamn reason for them to deliberately block a browser accessing their services, unless said browser is not standards compliant, is in development, is insecure, or is misconfigured.


    Making a big scene about how alpha software isn't working as expected is just idiotic and irresponsible.

  17. Avatar

    carlmess

    Isn't that the same Google that never provided an app for Windows Phone?

  18. Avatar

    clinteastman

    A quick fix is to use the "User-Agent Switcher and Manager" extension.

  19. Avatar

    nbplopes

    This is unethical towards users. MS pulled this off before. Now they all open until .... the same old lies.


    Wether you like or not, take it or leave it, the only company that was always and mostly straight towards both developers and customers is one .. And because they did not vomited whatever you wanted to ear they are disliked by many.


    It is funny WebKit is free and open, built towards openness, privacy and security. Than the “nice guys” of the day start voicing how the team did not play ball, bla bla ... branched branched ir and convinced the usual Chickens in the aviary that was for the good ...


    Look at them now pushing the chickens where they want them to be ...


    lolllol

  20. Avatar

    mrdrwest

    Error it is not. Fear, anger it is.

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