Google has posted warnings and alerts targeting Microsoft Edge on several of its services’ websites, including the Chrome Web Store add-on market, Google Drive, Gmail and the company’s default search page, google.com.

It’s not uncommon for Google to flag rival browsers with messages that recommend a user download Chrome to access the search company’s services. In the past, while it was building its now-dominant position in the browser space, Google targeted Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) with such pop-ups. At times, rival browser makers have also countered Google with similar you-should-really-switch-from-Chrome tactics.

All such efforts rely on detecting the browser user agent, a string embedded in the HTML header that identifies the browser, its specific version and the operating system under which the browser runs. (Some analytics companies, such as the California-based Net Applications, use browser user agents to divine which browsers or operating systems are most used to go online.)

In the latest campaign, Google marked the Chrome Web Store – the official outlet for all Chrome browser add-ons – with a “Google recommends switching to Chrome to use extensions securely” message when the site was accessed by Edge. (The Chromium-based Edge can install and use any of the add-ons, also called “extensions” by Google, hosted by the Web Store.)

It’s unclear what Google means by the message, or how Chrome’s use add-ons are any more secure than Edge.

edge google warning 3Google

Google slapped this ‘recommendation’ on the Chrome Web Store when Edge accessed the add-on market.

At other Google services’ sites, including Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail and the google.com search page, users of Edge see a different message. At Google Docs, for example, the pop-up reads, “To use Docs offline, upgrade to Chrome.” Meanwhile, the google.com site displays a message that reads, “Switch to Chrome for Windows.”



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