Google has gained a reputation as a bit of a dirty trickster when it comes to making sure Google services work best (or only) on Chrome. A former Firefox executive laid out some pointed claims last month to that end, saying that “demo sites would falsely block Firefox as incompatible,” and “Over and over. Oops. Another accident. We’ll fix it soon…. We got outfoxed for a while and by the time we started calling it what it was, a lot of damage had been done.”
Now, something similar appears to be happening with Google and Microsoft’s new Chromium based browser. The latest in a growing line of problems between Google services and Edge Insider builds has surfaced with the new revamped YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/new), as noted by Windows Central’s Zac Bowden on Twitter:
Great. YouTube now no longer works with the new Edge. You get this message, asking you to download Chrome, or you have to revert to the old YouTube design. pic.twitter.com/gsxi50IEtr
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) May 28, 2019
According to some of the comments to the tweet, Edge Insider used to work with YouTube/new, but something has changed. It’s also apparently a user-agent string issue, as changing the user agent in Edge Dev to Chrome gets the site working again (insert a rant about Google using browser detection instead of feature detection here).
Now there are many potential reasons why Google might be innocent, including wanting to limit testing of their new interface to browsers they know to be stable, but their track record of messing with their competitors doesn’t play well, and this isn’t the first time that Google has apparently tweaked their services to become inaccessible to Edge Insider.