Google stops scaring Edge users away from using Chrome extensions

Users of Microsoft's browser previously saw a message suggesting it wasn't safe to run Chrome extensions in Edge.

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Google's Chrome Web Store no longer scares users of the Microsoft Edge browser into thinking it's unsafe to install Chrome extensions. Techdows first noticed the change, with an earlier warning replaced by a banner from Microsoft that reads, "You can now add extensions from the Chrome Web Store to Microsoft Edge — Click on Add to Chrome."

Microsoft released its revamped Edge browser back in January, with the major change being that it's now built on top of the open-source Chromium project, the same core browser behind Google Chrome. One of the key advantages of using Chromium over its own browser technology is that all extensions developed for Chrome work natively in Edge. Developers don't need to make separate extensions for the two browsers. That means it would be fairly easy to ditch Chrome, which some might be inclined to do as Microsoft has designed Edge with more sophisticated privacy tools. Edge also has proprietary Microsoft services integrated and the company can push the browser to its huge Office 365 userbase. Google, of course, cares about Chrome greatly because it encourages users to sign into their Google accounts and feed the company's data-hungry services information about their digital habits.

Have some chill, Google — It's unclear why, beyond user retention, Google suggested there would be any security issue with installing Chrome extensions in Edge, as the extensions are coming from the company's own web store. If they're insecure in Edge they should presumably be insecure in Chrome as well. There's no fundamental difference between the two browsers besides the proprietary features they've layered on top. Edge has Microsoft services baked in, Chrome has Google services baked in. Google hasn't made a public statement on the issue.

In any case, the company has reason to be happy about the new Edge as Microsoft's browser team is now contributing improvements to Chromium that can be rolled back into Chrome — effectively free labor for Google. In fact, it's already pushed one feature into Chrome that was developed by Microsoft. And since Chrome is far and away the world's most popular browser, any improvements made by Microsoft only stand to keep Chrome solidified in its position atop the market. It's sort of a win-win for Google so the company should stop complaining and leave Edge alone.