A former Microsoft intern claims that Google may have played dirty so its Chrome web browser could get an edge over its competitor Edge.
Software engineer Joshua Bakita, who worked on Microsoft's browser, offered a possible explanation on why Microsoft decided to kill its EdgeHTML engine in favor of Chromium.
Microsoft recently announced it would switch the browser engine behind Edge from its custom EdgeHTML solution to Google's Project Chromium.
The switch is to make the Edge browsing experience more reliable with a number of sites designed to focus on Chrome.
Bakita said that one of the main reasons behind this change was due to Google continually making changes to its sites, which breaks compatibility.
Hidden Empty Div Code
Bakita cited how Google would make subtle changes to YouTube that would cause Edge to fail with some tasks.
Google, for instance, added a hidden code on its YouTube videos causing Edge's hardware acceleration to fail when playing videos. his caused the browser to use more energy.
After the hidden div code was added, Google started advertising Chrome as having better energy performance when playing videos.
"Prior to that, our fairly state-of-the-art video acceleration put us well ahead of Chrome on video playback time on battery, but almost the instant they broke things on YouTube, they started advertising Chrome's dominance over Edge on video-watching battery life," Bakita said.
The software engineer said that while he is not sure about YouTube being intentionally changed to slow Edge, many of his coworkers who looked into the matter personally are quite convinced this is the case. He added that Youtube also turned down their request to remove the hidden empty code.
Google disputes Bakita's claims, saying the empty div code was just a bug that was fixed after it was reported. A YouTube spokesperson said that YouTube does not add code for the purpose of defeating optimization in other browsers and that it works quickly to correct bugs.