Microsoft Edge may have found another way to live up to its name and get one edge via Google Chrome. The latest browser version of the browser shows that Edge by default restricts (if not blocks) the videos that are played automatically on websites. You know, the clips that no one has ever asked for, that make the proverbial needle in your brain itch when they start playing out of nowhere?
This news comes from Techdows, who spotted a change in the Canary Islands (read pre-beta) of Chromium-based Edge. This version of Edge offers two settings under Media Autoplay: Allow and Restrict, and the latter is the new default value in Edge build 91.0.841.0 or higher.
Limit, as you may have guessed, is not the same as “block”
That said, there’s no reason why Edge should not get more serious about automatic play. If Microsoft rolled out an ad campaign that discarded Chrome’s autoplay videos, it would probably be the biggest moment in the current browser’s short history.
Meanwhile, as Chrome users know from their daily experience with the Google browser, the software does not offer such a standard. Maybe this is because Google is nothing if not a company based on online advertising. No one can say for sure, as Google itself has not given any reason.
This is (apparently) the latest in a series of efforts by Microsoft to hack Chrome’s almost monopoly in the browser market. Recently, Edge added vertical tabs for more economical use of screen space, and also its own password management.
That said, Edge currently has only 3.45% of the worldwide browser market (according to statcounter) – while Chrome has 64.15%. Or to put it another way, Chrome has 18.59 times as much of a wedge in the market as the Edge. There is a lot of reason to make up.