Did Google Sabotage Microsoft Edge Browser?

Sabotage! The browser world is still reeling from the news of Microsoft switching to the Chromium engine for its Edge web browser, the same underlying technology that Google uses for Chrome.

While many were delighted with this development, others were left less than impressed.

However, it appears that there may be more to the story than what has surface. There is intrigue involved, perhaps even a plot twist somewhere in-between. And that is because someone has alleged that Google may have intentionally sabotaged the default Windows 10 browser.

These are the words of Joshua Bakita, a former software engineer on the Edge team at Microsoft, who claims that one of the reasons for the switch was because Google kept changing their web apps. Basically, making them not run properly on other browsers.

Here is a selection from his post:

“I very recently worked on the Edge team, and one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn’t keep up. For example, they recently added a hidden empty div over YouTube videos that causes our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail (should now be fixed in Win10 Oct update).

Prior to that, our fairly state-of-the-art video acceleration put us well ahead of Chrome on video playback time on battery, but almost the instant they broke things on YouTube, they started advertising Chrome’s dominance over Edge on video-watching battery life. What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower.”

Hmm, makes one think!

Obviously, no clue whether Google did this on purpose or not, or whether Microsoft simply fell into a trap that it set for itself — Edge has only been seeing updates twice a year, with each major update to Windows 10.

This is why it took Redmond until the October Update to fix this minor an issue.

Regardless, this limit of twice a year is now part of history, as the Seattle based firm has finally separated the web browser from the operating system. This is a big change that means the Edge team can now update their app as often as they want.

As for Google, well, what can one say?

It’s a cutthroat world, after all.

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