Companies using warnings to disuade people from using competing software isn’t exactly a new thing. After all, Microsoft did this for years for anyone choosing to use Chrome or Firefox instead of the built-in Internet Explorer. Regardless of whether or not there is any real-world ramifications of these warnings doesn’t really matter. A quick warning can be enough to convince many users that they need to alter their decision, and this is the entire aim of these kind of strategies.
While we’ve not seen this sort of thing from Google with Chrome before, it seems they’ve decided to take this approach with Microsoft Edge as it has exited beta and now utilizes the Chromium engine at its core. With Chrome’s massive market share advantage, I’m not sure I see the need for this sort of behavior, but Google is clearly considering the competition a Chromium-powered Edge might bring for Windows users.
One of the big benefits of Edge using Chromium at the core is the ability for it to now run Chrome Extensions that many users rely on daily. This removes a big stumbling block for moving to a different browsers and makes Edge a lot more attractive than it was prior. It seems that Google knows this and is beginning to take a small action to persuade users back over to Chrome for their extensions.
Going over to the Chrome Web Store in the new Edge browser, you are able to search for and install any extension you’d like, but you’ll also be met with the following ‘warning’ if you do so:
Now, there could be a shred of credence to this warning, but it most definitely feels like a cheap ploy to scare users into getting back to Chrome to use their extensions. I’m not fully aware of the safety ramifications of running Chrome Extension in Edge versus Chrome, but I’d imagine there are few differences. Instead of a real threat, this feels like a dodgy reason for Google to get people to run away from Edge and back to their browser. Google claims this was in place when Edge was in beta, but that isn’t’ the case any longer and the warning still persists.
With a massive chunk of the browser market share, I’m not really sure why Google feels the need to do this. Perhaps they see the writing on the wall and this new Chromium-based Edge browser does in fact pose a real threat to Chrome’s dominance. However, offering up the building blocks of your browser as an open-source piece of software, you’d think Google saw this coming. We’re not really sure where all this is stemming from, but if you are an Edge user, I don’t think I’d run back to Chrome based only on this warning. I think Chrome is a better browser with more functionality, but I don’t think this is the way to get people to get on board.