Microsoft stole my Chrome tabs, and it wants yours, too ( )

Last week, I turned on my PC, installed a Windows update, and rebooted to find Microsoft Edge automatically open with the Chrome tabs I was working on before the update. I don’t use Microsoft Edge regularly, and I have Google Chrome set as my default browser. Bleary-eyed at 9AM, it took me a moment to realize that Microsoft Edge had simply taken over where I’d left off in Chrome. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

yournamehere ,

i havent seen windows being mentioned in my feed for a while but this is pretty funny.

"uh, i am using a closed system made by fellas known to love money and have no respect for anyone and now to my suprise yet another thing they did is not what i want."

...and it is 2024.

MystikIncarnate ,

If you intentionally load edge there's a prompt you can say no to that asks if you want it to continue to try to pull information from other browsers.

IDK if that will prevent this, but it's better than nothing.

IMO, this is underhanded at best. It's as if some middle manager was tasked with getting more people using edge and they thought to themselves that most of their oblivious parents/grand parents/brothers/sisters/cousins/friends/whatever don't really notice what browser they're using (and frequently they don't care), so let's just move them over to edge as seamlessly as possible and they just keep using it because they're too oblivious to even notice it's not chrome.

To be fair, they're right, but also that thought process is so morally bankrupt that it should be criminal. IMO, that a lot like replacing someone's Toyota Corolla with a similarly designed Ford with the same engine under the hood, overnight, and hoping they just keep using it.

I don't want to bash Ford here or anything, but they have very different ideas than Toyota on how to accomplish common tasks. They're "the same" but very very not the same.

A better automotive comparison that I'm aware of would be the Mazda 626 and the Ford probe. They used the same engine but were very different cars to use. They performed the same basic function, but it was a very different experience.

I had a 626 ES V6 back in the day. If I woke up one day to find that someone had swapped it for a similarly spec'd probe, I would be livid. I don't hate Ford, or the probe specifically, but I drive the 626. I know that car. I want to keep using that car. I don't care that the probe is "basically the same". Fuck off and give me back my 626.

I sadly spun a bearing on that 626 and when I heard the knock from the engine I knew it was time. I still miss that car.

HelixDab2 ,

Microsoft Edge is actually good, so I sure hope the team building it isn’t about to resort to more tricks to get Chrome users to use it.

No. No it is not.

1984 , avatar

Sounds like Microsoft. They did this all the time with Firefox before.

azerial ,

That's better than me. I ran a security script that i.. laugh and roll my eyes at myself about in a bad way, like i deserved what i got. I didn't read the script...

So i restarted the system. Since i used an online Microsoft account to create the local user, and i didn't read the script, the only account, and admin at that, was disabled. I couldn't sign in AT ALL. Lol

I formatted the whole system and installed Fedora Plasma. I'm a Fedora fan. It's what we use in a corporate environment (rhel) and it's what i learned on.

TL;DR: Windows sucks. Linux is great and ProtonDB for those games you miss.

ILikeBoobies ,

Most people don’t see a difference between Edge and Chrome

Xcf456 ,

Pretty crazy to think they got broken up in the late 90s/early 2000s for simply including IE in a fresh Windows install (im probably over simplifying but still). Yet these days they're pulling this kind of shit

flakusha , avatar

M$. M$ never changes.

princessnorah , (edited ) avatar

You aren’t really over simplifying that much. IE was installed, but on first launch it loaded a website called where you could pick a different browser to install. It would change the default browser setting and remove IE shortcuts. The order of the browser’s was randomised similar to the way an election ballot usually is.

Microsoft set it up to comply with an EU decision in 2010, only on devices sold in the EU. However, it was only required until December 2014, so Microsoft quietly discontinued it in an update. The functionality was never included in Edge.

Edit: the 90s-00s anti-trust stuff with Microsoft and IE wasn’t just about IE being the default in Windows. It was also because they forced Apple to include it on Mac OS as the default, otherwise they’d stop developing Office for Mac. They also stipulated that Apple couldn’t develop their own competing browser and Safari wasn’t born until later.

Ironic that Apple went on to do the same thing with Safari, and more importantly the WebKit engine, on iOS. Plus now trying to force its competitors to either continue using Webkit, or maintain two seperate versions of their apps. One for within the EU and one for everywhere else

WeLoveCastingSpellz ,

Two ways to avoid this problem: switch to linux, switch to firefox, preferably both

DeltaTangoLima , avatar

Unless you're stuck in corporate hell where either one of these things isn't possible.

WeLoveCastingSpellz ,


JokeDeity ,

Firefox is your friend.

ExLisper ,

installed a Windows update, (...) and I have Google Chrome set as my default browser

It's subtle but if you look closely and read between the lines you can see what the real issue is.

TonyTonyChopper , avatar

He doesn't use Arch btw

wick ,

That's hilarious. Why would you use chrome instead of edge though? At least with edge you cut out google, with chrome you give data to both.

Senal ,

I'm having trouble parsing this so i might be commenting on something that isn't there.

Current edge is a chrome re-skin with some addons, I'd put good money on it not being google free.

If you care about data going to nefarious places you probably shouldn't be using either.

flashgnash ,

If you're using windows you're already giving Microsoft data so may as well

Edge uses chromium not chrome, I would hazard a guess there's much less data harvesting going on in base chromium given it's open source and people can see exactly what they collect

Senal ,

If you’re using windows you’re already giving Microsoft data so may as well

While technically correct, to me this sounds like "You haven't managed to stop some of the tracking, why not just give them everything?" which is personally not my approach.

Not to say that my approach isn't effort and is even effective, but I'd much rather limit the damage in the ways i can rather than give up entirely.
I can see why someone wouldn't want to put in that kind of effort though and i don't fault them for it.

Edge uses chromium not chrome, I would hazard a guess there’s much less data harvesting going on in base chromium given it’s open source and people can see exactly what they collect

Open source yes, but not necessarily free from data-harvesting.

The fact that un-googled chromium (and others like it) exist implies that straight up chromium being open source isn't a guarantee they aren't doing consumer-hostile shit anyway.

Though, yes, it's almost certainly less than full-fat chrome.

flashgnash ,

I don't think there's any data Microsoft can get through you using edge that they can't also get just by controlling your OS

Nothing at all stopping them from reading data from other browsers, as has been demonstrated by the whole stealing chrome tabs thing

There are valid reasons to use windows and if you've gotta use it anyway they've already got your data from the start

Senal ,

I don’t think there’s any data Microsoft can get through you using edge that they can’t also get just by controlling your OS

I'd put mid-level money on that not being true.
There are a lot of things going on in a browser, a lot of which aren't particularly easy to access from the outside.

Not to say it isn't possible.

There are valid reasons to use windows and if you’ve gotta use it anyway they’ve already got your data from the start

To a degree yes, but assuming they aren't pulling nefarious shit in the background, there are in theory many things you can turn off or somewhat neutralise using the options in the OS to reduce the level of data collection.

They are slowly removing those options but they still exist for now.

Again, i fully understand people not wanting to go to the trouble to achieve a goal they don't care about, but that isn't the same as there being nothing you can do if you wish to.

BreakDecks ,

Not quite. Edge and Chrome are both Chromium-based browsers. There shouldn't be any of the Googled parts of Chrome in Edge, just as there aren't any Googled parts of Chrome in stock Chromium.

Of course, you are now giving your data to Microsoft instead of Google, which isn't really a win or a lose. If you're not paying for the software, you're either using FOSS, or the software is paid for by selling access to you and your computer.

Senal ,

There shouldn’t be any of the Googled parts of Chrome in Edge, just as there aren’t any Googled parts of Chrome in stock Chromium.

There are at the very least googled parts of chromium in it though :

Unless google have significantly changed the way they package and build chromium recently there are still google web service dependencies and i believe binary blobs (though they may have changed the closed source blob policy iirc)

Of course, you are now giving your data to Microsoft instead of Google, which isn’t really a win or a lose. If you’re not paying for the software, you’re either using FOSS, or the software is paid for by selling access to you and your computer.


phoenixz ,

And again, install Linux and be done with this shit. Fuck Windows, fuck everything about Microsoft, don't use their crap

tesseract ,

Having switched Linux for over two decades now, I find the current state of Windows to be extremely weird. Why do people tolerate such abuse? Is it that the gradual degradation conditioned people to accept it? Sort of like the proverbial frog in the boiling water?

BreakDecks ,

People stick to what they are used to, and don't notice the enshittification. Windows users will happily tell you that Windows "just works", and that Linux is "too hard", because that's what they heard for years and never bothered trying for themselves.

Now, Linux overwhelmingly "just works", and using Windows is a constant fight with the OS. Instead of the problem Linux used to have where everything assumed you understood Unix already and new how to make good user decisions, Windows assumes you're a brainless moron and makes decisions for you without bothering to ask you or even tell you.

Even the fact that you have to install Linux scares people, because people are used to Windows coming on their computer, and in many cases don't even realize that Windows and the computer they are running it on are totally different things.

gerryflap , avatar

Personally I still use Windows for gaming and some other programs that work better under Windows. I've tried to switch, but it was just a bit too unstable to depend on for me. For me none of this shit has happened tho. No forced Cortana, no sudden Candy Crush install, no Edge fucking with my browsing. I'd rather switch to Linux full time instead of dual booting, because M$ is still pulling all these moves on others, but sometimes convenience does win.

blind3rdeye ,

I first tried Linux around two decades ago, and it felt clunky to me - so I didn't stick with it. I tried again around one decade ago; and it was a lot better, but I still didn't quite have enough reason to keep using it yet. ... But now, finally, I tried again several months ago - and I'm definitely sticking with it. I'm currently using Mint.

There are still some thing that I think are worse in Mint compared to Windows. But there is a lot of stuff that's much better. It's more than enough that I don't expect to ever switch back to Windows again. The main thing is avoiding all the anti-features of Windows, such as the constant nagging to switch to Edge or activate their search bar; and the ads & other cruft in the start menu; and the constant little popups and 'reminders' about new stuff; and the lack of control in when updates are installed; and the ubiquitous harvesting of personal information, including 'telemetry' of which apps you run and when.

For me, one of the last straws was when I clicked on a help link from Windows settings, and it automatically opened in Edge, and Edge then automatically imported my browsing history and bookmarks from Firefox and automatically uploaded it to my Microsoft account. I was horrified that it would do something like that without any interaction whatsoever. I didn't even think Edge had access to my Microsoft account until then, because I deliberately avoid using one to sign in, or for any other reason - the only reason it exists is because I used OneNote. I wanted the account to be isolated to just the app I used it for; not to automatically be grabbed by the whole OS and then used to collect my browsing history.

So yeah. I'd spent years of maintaining an ever-growing list of little system tweaks that I used to keep as junk off Windows as possible. But I've had enough. It's too much. It's not even close to being worth it. Linux has some minor problems, and some things take a bit of getting use to. But at least it isn't systematically hostile.

tesseract ,

I made that jump two decades ago. My last straw was the fact that Windows was making numerous connections online without my permission or even knowledge. One thing I can tell you though - Microsoft makes sure that you don't regret the decision to switch. I know that some problems in Linux can be frustrating - especially driver-related issues. But you eventually learn to solve them - a solution if often just a web search away. But the freedom you get in exchange is priceless. So, hang in there and your persistence will be rewarded.

fmstrat ,

Everyone in this thread is complaining about Chrome. They should be complaining about MS.

Faydaikin , avatar

Can't we do both?

tesseract ,

Chrome's singular purpose of existence is to give Google an avenue to vacuum up user data - both directly and through corruption of the web standards. Edge doing this crap is merely like giving a pig a clown hat. Fuck em both.

tesseract ,

I thought I had heard the worst of it. But it's their platform. They keep inventing new ways to screw their customers.

vanderbilt , avatar

Funny how the EU council considers iOS to be a big problem but not Microsoft’s behavior around Edge. Both need to be corrected, but only one has seen any action - and it ain’t Microsoft.

lvxferre ,

Accordingly to The Verge, "EU regulators have “tentatively concluded” that Bing and Edge aren’t dominant enough for the DMA regulations".

I agree that both need to be corrected though. The issue is Microsoft's behaviour being unacceptable. It also creates a nasty situation, where other corporations might argue "you allowed Microsoft to do it, so allow us too, otherwise you're being unfair."

aniki ,

LOL This is what happens when you run closed source garbage. Nothing is in your control.

Overzeetop ,

I'm not a programmer. Open source garbage isn't in my control either.

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