On January 15, 2020, Microsoft officially released its much-awaited, latest version of its browser Edge, which is based on Google’s Chromium.
It was under the developing stage for over a year. Edge users were eagerly waiting for the official release because, among many advantages of Chromium, the best is, now they can explore the vast library of Google Chrome Extensions.
Though Microsoft has a collection of its own extensions too, let’s be honest here, there is no comparison to the range of extensions that Chrome provides.
Microsoft joining the Chromium has apparently started a Browser War between Edge and Chrome. Both the browsers- Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome are Chromium based with Blink as their default web rendering engine. But when the Edge users try to download an extension from Chrome’s Webstore, they get a warning by Google, suggesting them to switch to Chrome for using the extensions securely.
However, this doesn’t forcefully stop users to download the extensions. They can still download and use them.
It is fascinating that Google is providing such warnings on the Edge browser. Chrome Webstore’s extension can also be accessed by other chromium-based browsers such as Vivaldi and Opera but their users don’t get such a warning.
Although if we look at the other side, Microsoft Edge also warns its users against downloading extensions from other sources. According to them, extensions from other sources are unverified and may affect the browser’s performance.
So, what is the truth? Let us get deeper to understand more.
Why does Google say Chrome is more secure than Edge?
Well, as mentioned above, Google does warn the Edge users to switch to Chrome, but it doesn’t provide the official reason for that. The warning message doesn’t contain any explanation or any link for the explanation.
However, when a website named Bleeping Computer asked Google to explain the reason for the warning, they responded with an explanation.
Google told them that the new Microsoft Edge browser does not support Google’s safe browsing features.
Since Chrome Web Store has a huge user base, many cybercriminals regularly pop-up their malicious extensions into the store to trap the users. When these malicious extensions are discovered by Chrome, they can do more than just removing them from the store.
Google can also disable that malicious extension from the browsers of the users who have installed it.
So, even if the extension is still installed on the browser of the users, they will not get infected by it, since it has been remotely disabled by Google. It is like how Apple can delete an application from your iPhone when it is found to be malicious.
Google claims that this feature is not supported in the latest chromium-based Edge Browser because Microsoft has stripped a lot of Google services code out of the Edge. They can’t check and disable the malicious extensions on the Microsoft Edge.
This is the reason why Google asks Edge users to switch to Google Chrome. If they want to enjoy the Chrome extensions securely, they should switch to Chrome.
Although this reason is verified by Google itself, there can be one more reason for Google warning users against using Chrome extensions on Edge.
Microsoft is vigorously getting itself involved in this battle of browsers. It is bundling the Edge browser on its Windows Operating System and set it as a default browser. It keeps warning Windows 10 users against downloading other browsers.
So maybe in order to keep itself up in the war, Google is directing Edge users to itself. Although, this is just a theory.
As of December 2019, Chrome is ranked number 1, holding almost 69% of the Global Market Share of desktop browsers. While Edge is ranked 4, behind Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, with just about 4.6% of the share.
It is clear that Microsoft is way behind Google in this battle. However, with its new Chromium-based browser, Microsoft is hoping for a change.
Google, on the other hand, has been in the internet market for a longer time. They don’t want to lose their user base too and will continue practicing every tactic to get more users to use their services.
For us users, it is a win-win situation when such giants indulge in the competition. We will continue to get better and secure services until they start to put a restriction on using each other’s services and products. Hope that won’t happen.