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Microsoft Edge with Chromium suddenly stops working with Google Meet (Update)

Updated April 26, 2019: Despite the current situation, Google says that it plans to support Meet with Edge on Chromium upon its release into general availability. In a statement to Neowin, a Google spokesperson said the following:

We view the increased adoption of Chromium and WebRTC as positive for the entire Unified Communications industry. With the recent release of developer previews for Edge, we are thrilled to be able to offer a new preview experience of Hangouts Meet, and we plan to officially support it once it becomes generally available.

Microsoft's new Edge browser based off the open-source Chromium Project so far has had a great start with daily builds in the Canary ring, which then feed into the weekly release for the Dev channel.

However, sometime between yesterday and today Meet, Google's web-based video and voice meeting service, stopped working. Users looking to join a Google Meet encountered a message informing them "Meet doesn't work on your browser" with download links to Chrome or Firefox instead. (Even worse, in our Edge Dev build the tab just crashes when we tried to log into the service).

Current error message Edge (Chromium) users see.

Current error message Edge (Chromium) users see.

Due to the early test phase of Edge with Chromium one could chalk this up to some changes on Microsoft's end – after all, that is the point of this open testing. However, the error of Meet appears to fall at the feet of Google instead.

By changing the browser User Agent to "Chrome – Windows" using F12 > ... > More tools > Network conditions > and reloading the website the service suddenly works.

Changing the User Agent to "Chrome" for Windows fixes the issue.

Changing the User Agent to "Chrome" for Windows fixes the issue.

That result suggests Google has made a recent change on their end that blocks the new Edge browser from using Meet. Likewise, Microsoft Edge Dev has not been updated in a week, yet it also suffers from this issue suggesting that whatever the problem is it wasn't caused by a recent update to the Canary channel.

Interestingly, Microsoft has a unique User-Agent for its new Edge browser to distinguish it from the current one that's native to Windows 10. Microsoft uses "Edg/" with a noticeably absent "e" versus the standard "Edge/18.18362" so that things like this would not happen.

Top: Microsoft's new User Agent string. Bottom: Old Edge User Agent string.

Top: Microsoft's new User Agent string. Bottom: Old Edge User Agent string.

The question is – if Google did add "Edg/" to its block list of Google Meet why did it do so? While it's easy to suggest malice, there could be other reasons as well. On the other hand Google does have a long history of such shenanigans making them hard to trust.

Microsoft Edge, Chromium, and Blink FAQ: Everything you need to know

For now, users can spoof their User Agent to get around the issue with Google Meet, but we anxiously wait to see if a more permanent fix happen first.

We've reached out to Microsoft for a comment.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • My money is google being malicious. They don't like being showed up when someone like MS builds a better product withe Google's own tools than Google has themselves. This is just like when MS built an awesome YouTube app for Windows mobile and Google Sent them a cease and desist.
  • "Don't be evil," amirite?
  • Yeah, I'd go for anticompetitive behaviour from Scroogle as well... Par for the course.
  • The same goes for Spartan, switch the user agent to "Google Chrome" and Google Meet magically starts working. Malicious intentions for sure.
  • Google does google.
  • Remember that one time we got an official Youtube app on Windows phone?
  • Rather than fooling around with settings, why not just stop using Google products? I'm still waiting for them to start acting like a company that deserves customers.
  • I wouldn't care if an official You Tube App came to the MS Store I love the MyTube App and would never switch.
  • Microsoft had better not make a browser. It won't be profitable for them. Just keep IE as last resort and it's fine.
  • They need a browser. It's an integral part of every OS.
  • I will go with $croogle shenanigans until proven otherwise. And so it begins.
  • Nice repeat comment from the other place Hopitup. I understand though why you retreat to friendly territory.
  • You change your posting name from some other site? Go troll on lagdroid central
  • Why doesn't this site notify me of replies? Perhaps I need to take a closer look at settings.
    BTW, you use different names on multiple sites so what's your point?
  • What the hell is Google Meet? Can they just agree on a single chat branding FFS? That company is a hot mess.
  • Hangouts for G Suite
  • Google is killing hangouts next year or end of this year
  • Just another go at a communications platform to counter Skype/Teams or Slack.
  • They should go with Google Meat
  • "I could not help myself. It is my nature."
  • haha, did not see this coming... *rolles eyes*
  • Dan, why didn't you guys use Skype or Microsoft Teams?
  • Like a lot of companies, these decisions come from higher up/workflow instead of personal preference.
  • Okay. Thanks for your reply.
  • Shady stuff from google. Basically they are being themselves. SMH.
  • What the **** is Google Meet
  • Chat and Meet are Hangouts for G Suite.
  • It would be interesting to investigate a bit further, change Google Chrome's user agent to pretend to be the new Edge and see if Meet still works in Chrome.
    If it doesn't, it clearly shows it's not to prevent an issue with Edgium, but instead Google using bugs they know about in their own Chromium codebase to make competitors look bad. This is the reason I'm not so sure going to a Chromium engine will help Edge at all, Google probably has an internal list of bugs unknown to the public that they can take advantage of to make other browsers keep playing catch-up even more than when Edge was using it's EdgeHTML engine.
  • Luckily, Microsoft has already done a bit of forward thinking, and keep a list of sites that don't work due to agent detecting, and will update the list to mimic Google's chrome. Who'll win that battle, Google or Microsoft, and will we be able to trust browser stats later as a result?
  • Google could simply add "-- made without evil by Google(TM)" in the user agent and sue any company that includes the same string in their browser for trademark infringement. Alternatively, with AJAX, it's easy to make the response react to some browser's detail checked through scripting instead of just the user agent.
    If they want to ruin Edge, their sniffing code could be something like check an implementation detail of a codec used in the browser and only serve the good code if it matches a proprietary implementation detail in Chrome.
  • But then they probably open themselves up to antitrust allegations, just like MS faced with IE back in the day.
  • Wonder how long before Google updates the backed of YouTube so it runs slower on the new Edge...
  • If the root cause is on Google side it is not only pathetic but also time for the EU authorities to step in and start to fine Google for a few billion Euro as they used to do with MS so eagerly a few years ago.
  • Just google being google.
  • I don't use Google Meet, but I'm curious if it actually works _properly_ on Edge Insider with a different agent string. My own mind immediately jumps to Google doing something malicious, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe they just don't test the app on a browser that isn't even out of Alpha yet. Maybe Meet relies on one or more of the services Microsoft replaced/removed, even if only for some niche use cases. Given that Meet is a fairly complex app involving video streaming, and is intended for enterprise/business use cases, they might have some very rigorous requirements for the app, and don't want it to stop working for users on a browser they don't target.
  • I had been using it on the edge canary build for about a week. My camera didn't work on the first day but after the next edge update (and a windows restart) it had been working properly until yesterday morning when it was blocked by google.
  • I just reported this issue before finding and reading this article. It sounds like this is all from Google. Sadly it isn't surprising either.
  • Not surprised. As long as the Chromium engine (which in the end Google determines what code is put into it) continues to get used so much this will continue to happen. Switch over to Firefox or similar browsers that use Mozilla's Gecko engine to prevent a Google monopoly.
  • Lol! You guys are a trip... MEET works before MS makes a change. It then stops working and you blame Google, who literally didn't do anything. Wow...
  • Your comment shows you didn't read the article at all.
    Please read before commenting.
  • I did read the article, I just choose to read material from more than one source..
  • "That result suggests Google has made a recent change on their end that blocks the new Edge browser from using Meet. Likewise, Microsoft Edge Dev has not been updated in a week, yet it also suffers from this issue suggesting that whatever the problem is it wasn't caused by a recent update to the Canary channel."
  • "We understand that Google doesn’t have a block list for Google Meet, rather an allow list, and that Google should be supporting Meet on the new version of Edge very soon. Microsoft’s latest version of Edge initially worked before it switched to a new user agent string, and Google Meet stopped working."
  • Well there you go. Looks like Windows Central making a mountain out of a mole hill.
  • $croogle is the problem, not the solution.
  • Websites should detect browser features rather than determine capability by browser user agent. This kind of detection is so 1990's.
  • One note. When I tested edge canary on our own website and then ran webstats, it said I had connected with Chrome, not Edge. Weird
  • I take it neither Canary or Dev builds currently work without manually changing the user agent string. Is that correct?