Despite its meager market share, the Google Chrome marketing team seems to be attempting to snuff out the usage of Microsoft’s newest Chromium-based Edge browser offering with a relative bad-faith warning when visiting the Chrome Web App Store.
When Edge users visit the Chrome Web Apps store, they are greeted with a new prompt that attempts to get users to switch to Chrome if they want to use “extensions securely,” which taken at face value, is technically true.
However, a developer on the new Edge team has surfaced with some technical insight as to why Google’s prompt is more fear-mongering than a hazardous reality for users.
According to a tweet from Eric Lawrence of the Edge development team, the browser does in fact not use identical safe browsing measures that Chrome uses to scans to detect and remove extensions riddled with malware.
[Alt Text: Fiddler Web Debugger screenshot showing msedge.exe querying extension stores for updates every 2-4 hours and querying for updates to /extensionrevocation/v1/threatupdates every 30 minutes.]
— Eric Lawrence 🎻 (@ericlaw) February 23, 2020
Instead, the Edge developers have implemented a msdge.exe protocol that pings the extension store roughly every 2 to 4 hours while querying for threat updates every 30 minutes simultaneously.
To show the “receipts” as Lawrence puts it, he posted a Fidler Web Debugger print out of the msdge.exe protocol working.
All this is to say, that while Google’s defense of its new Chrome extension prompt is loosely based on a technical truth, the fact of the matter is that Microsoft’s new Edge browser and its extension library are safe to use and there is no need for its users to switch to Chrome, as suggested.