Microsoft resolves issue allowing Edge to duplicate Chrome tabs without consent.

Microsoft recently resolved an issue where Google Chrome tabs were unintentionally imported into Microsoft Edge, a problem initially highlighted by The Verge. Despite Microsoft’s silence on the matter, the release of a corrective update marks the company’s acknowledgment of the issue as a glitch, rather than standard operating procedure for the globally third-ranked browser.

The issue came to light in late January when The Verge’s Senior Editor, Tom Warren, noticed that after updating his system, Edge would launch with tabs he had last used in Chrome. He discovered that Edge has a feature, accessible via “edge://settings/profiles/importBrowsingData,” allowing for the automatic import of Chrome browsing data upon each Edge session. This feature does not extend the same functionality to Firefox data, which must be imported manually. The controversy arose when users observed this data import happening even without enabling the specific setting, with reports surfacing on Microsoft’s support forum and social media.

Microsoft remained unresponsive to initial inquiries from The Verge but later issued an update on February 15, as per their release notes, aiming to rectify the situation. The update was meant to fix the synchronization and display issues of the browser data import feature’s status across different devices. Nonetheless, this update does not address complaints from users who encountered the issue without the feature being activated. Microsoft also declined to comment further when approached by Ars Technica.

This development suggests that Microsoft did not intend for the unsolicited importation of Chrome tabs into Edge, contradicting any notion that it was a deliberate tactic to encourage Edge usage. This situation adds to the narrative of Microsoft’s aggressive strategies to promote Edge, often nudging users away from competitors like Chrome, despite Chrome’s significant lead in market share, as evidenced by Global Statcounter data.

The incident underscores the competitive dynamics between Edge and Chrome, both of which are built on the Chromium engine, yet Chrome dominates in terms of user preference, partly due to its integration with Google services. Meanwhile, Edge attempts to enhance its appeal by integrating Microsoft services and features. The resolution of this issue signals Microsoft’s commitment to not include unsanctioned tab imports in the Edge user experience, amidst broader strategies to boost its browser’s adoption.