Microsoft Edge may have discovered another lifestyle choice up to its name and get an edge over Google Chrome. A recently uncovered change to the browser shows that Microsoft is thinking about standing firm against the most exceedingly terrible piece of the online: those irritating videos that consequently play on sites. You know, those clips that no one at any point requested that make the notorious record needle in your cerebrum scratch when they begin playing out of no place?
The report comes from Techdows, which notes a change in the Canary (read: pre-beta) build of Chromium-based Edge. Edge has two settings under Media Autoplay: Allow and Limit, and the new version of the browser shows that the latter is now the default. To try it for yourself, make sure you’re on Edge build 91.0.841.0 or higher.
Limit, as you may have surmised, is not the same as “block.” There was a Block option, but it is now locked behind a flag you must first enable. And it apparently never actually worked right. That said, this may just be a test. Beta versions of products often just show what a company is thinking about doing, not what it will do in the long run.
That said, there’s no reason for Edge to not get more serious about auto-play. If Microsoft rolled out an ad campaign trashing Chrome’s auto-playing videos, it would probably be the biggest moment in its current browser’s short history.
For now, Chrome users know from their daily experiences using Google’s web browser, that software offers no such default. Maybe this is because Google is nothing if not a company based on online advertising. Nobody can say for sure, as Google itself has not given a reason.
This is (apparently) the latest in a series of efforts by Microsoft to peck at Chrome’s near-monopoly in the browser market. Recently, Edge added vertical tabs for more economic use of screen space, and its own password manager too.
That said, Edge currently only has 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 of the market as Edge. That’s a lot of ground to make up.