Google Docs Says Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge Is Not Supported
Trop fun la gueguerre....
When users of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge use Google Docs, the service is stating that the browser is not supported. As the new Microsoft Edge uses the same HTML engine as Chrome and is clearly supported, some users feel that Google is playing unfairly.
Google Docs indicates that Edge is unsupported by displaying a notification at the top of the page that states “The version of the browser you are using is no longer support. Please upgrade to a supported browser.”. The message links to this Google support article.
This message is being shown because Google whitelists browsers based on their useragent strings, and for any that are not whitelisted, will display the above unsupported message.
A browser useragent is a unique string associated with a browser and used to identify it. When the browser connects to a website, the browser’s useragent string is also sent to the web site so that the site can offer customizations based on the browser.
For example, the useragent string for the new Microsoft Edge is:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/75.0.3763.0 Safari/537.36 Edg/18.104.22.168
Even though the new Microsoft Edge is compatible with Google docs because it shares the same HTML engine as Google Chrome, since its useragent is not whitelisted, Google Docs will state it is unsupported.
To prove this, I installed the User-Agent Switcher for Chrome extension in Microsoft Edge and configured the browser to use the useragent of Chrome 74, which is shown below.
“Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3729.108 Safari/537.36”
Once I switched the useragent and refreshed Google Docs, the unsupported message was no longer shown.
Google can fix, but Microsoft can fix it faster
As there should not be any reason for Google to not whitelist the new Edge’s useragent string, how fast Google fixes this issue on their side will indicate whether they plan on playing fairly.
The good news is that Microsoft has a function built into the new Microsoft Edge that allows it switch its useragent as needed based on the domain being visited.
As we reported earlier this month, this is being done so that sites who whitelist or offer different features based on a browser’s useragent string will work properly in the new Microsoft Edge.
If Google decides to take their time resolving this problem, Microsoft can bypass them altogether and create a new rule for the docs.google.com URL and use Chrome’s useragent string so that this “unsupported” message goes away.