This is already happening. I very recently worked on the Edge team, and one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn't keep up. For example, they recently added a hidden empty div over YouTube videos that causes our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail (should now be fixed in Win10 Oct update). 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. What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower.
Now while I'm not sure I'm convinced that YouTube was changed intentionally to slow Edge, many of my co-workers are quite convinced - and they're the ones who looked into it personally. To add to this all, when we asked, YouTube turned down our request to remove the hidden empty div and did not elaborate further.
And this is only one case.
If this case hasn't already been run up to Microsoft's lawyers, start running it up to them. You'll be doing the world a service.
It is not the best time to strike now, once the timing is right, I am sure they will.
TBH, I consider Google much more evil than Microsoft, in or outside of Dev Circles. Microsoft dropped the evil baton and Google picked it up and sprinted away.
What Microsoft gain after Windows Phone YouTube app case? Nothing. Google successfully fucked up Microsoft.
And I've worked for Google in the past, but their main issue has always been that they change a lot which makes them a moving target which is annoying in its own way.
Microsoft earned its public image and while it's made nicer noises recently it's not an organisation that fills me with trust.
Uh, money? It might not exactly be a noble incentive for a lawsuit, but it's sure as hell an incentive, isn't it?
With a lot of legal issues, sometimes the only winning move is not to play.
They'll get a more level playing field.
CEO's generally don't order this stuff to happen. More often it's a director, manager, VP or whatever that's just really aggressive. Possibly the CEO knew or not.
When a company gets bloodied for a pile of money, they generally have to own up to it, which makes them look bad (by they way, these things do have a cumulative effect) - but more importantly, they have to at very least 'go through the motions' of getting staff to 'not do this stuff'.
So they have 'training' and 'oversight' etc.. However ingrained it is into behaviour (or even a single rotten apple) the likelihood of recursion goes down.
For example - if an inner legal team gets some responsibility for oversight on these issues, they can make life difficult for managers on these things.
I worked at a Fortune 50 that was sued by a patent troll, and it seriously and fundamentally changed internal culture to the point wherein we needed lawyers involved in everything, it was really bad. Obviously a negative example.
But especially Microsoft has enough $ to drag Google into court, they should do it.
That said: I'll bet $100 that MS might be doing some tricky things of their own anyhow.
I'd be curious to see how likely Microsoft would be to follow this approach rather than to just stick to using Blink... as they've already decided to do.
Google could start responding to YouTube requests with binary streams of gibberish if they want, MS would only have standing to sue as a content creator and advertiser on YouTube.
If Google is reverse engineering other browsers optimization paths and putting out content that is disagreeable to that optimization, that's possibly unfortunate but not illegal.
b) since Google's browser became the defacto standard browser thanks to Edge switching engines, hence the thread. The standard doesn't really matter anymore; Google makes most of them now as a matter of course anyway.
Click the "show desktop view" page on mobile firefox, reload, and suddenly the score is there. They're not discriminating that aggressively against competing desktop browsers. Yet.
First, I can find nowhere that Chrome claimed to have better video-watching battery life (in fact, popular tech sites mention improving but still worse).
Second, the only dip I can find in the public Edge battery life tests was
April 2017 - 12.5 hours
Dec 2017 - 16 hours
May 2018 - 14.3 hours
vs Chrome's 9.3, 13.5, and 12.5 hours. Which means whatever happened last spring, Chrome also dipped.
And third, how about we talk about the kind of web browser battery benchmark based on playing fullscreen video and is defeated by adding a single hidden div? It's not testing battery life of a representative sample of what a web browser is actually used for (especially over 12+ hours), and obviously wasn't very resilient in the face of what a web browser has to actually handle.
Honestly it sounds like they added a div for unrelated reasons (accessibility, "security", ads, who knows), thought it was worth the performance tradeoff (or never measured), and it indirectly ended up making Edge better for real web content (as of the Win10 Oct update).
I'd suggest inspecting a few sites you watch video on. An empty div is the least weird thing you'll find.
This ultimately comes down to hardware limitations. GPUs are limited as to what they can compose during scanout, because of memory bandwidth limits. Each plane that you can alpha-blend together at scanout time multiplies the amount of memory fetches per dot you have to do. On today's high-DPI displays, the bandwidth going out to the display is very high to begin with, so you can't afford to multiply that by much. That is why putting something on top of a video is tricky: you're adding another layer to be alpha-blended on top, increasing your memory bandwidth by 50% over the two layers you already have (RGB for the background plus YUV for the video). The user's GPU may or may not support that--as I recall, prior to Skylake, Intel GPUs only had two hardware planes, for instance.
I'm not surprised that Microsoft just used "are there any DOM elements over the video?" as a quick heuristic to determine whether scanout compositing can be used. Remember that there is always a tradeoff between heuristics and performance. At the limit you could scan every pixel of each layer to see whether all of them are transparent and cull the layer if so, but that would be very expensive. You need heuristics of some kind to get good performance, and I can't blame Microsoft for using the DOM for that.
which, again, that's fine, but mayyyyybe they were a little lax in checking performance on nearly any other popular video site on the web to see if that heuristic is a good one?
Or maybe changing page layout in an extremely common way wasn't an effort to undermine a hyper specific benchmark?
Remember, if you put visible DOM elements on top of the videos, then you lose scanout compositing no matter what.
A lot of them? Vimeo, for instance, has a number of opacity: 0 and hidden divs over the video. Twitch has at least a couple of opacity: 0 divs on top.
Maybe we're interpreting the phrase
> hidden empty div over YouTube videos
differently? That's the structure I assume they were talking about.
Considering that it's now optimized and that's not what the original post said, I don't know why you'd assume that.
That's what this "empty div" is for if that's the one I think it is. It is the container for things like branding and annotations.
FWIW, I think you're a little credulous there; as I mentioned in my other comment, I can't find anything stating that Chrome starting beating Edge at the test (their videos actually claim the opposite) or anybody from Chrome boasting about it (articles from the time like yours also say the opposite).
> On the other hand, pretty easy how such a div might trigger a less efficient path
I mean, sure, you can always fall off the fast path, but given how common transparent divs over video are, the battery benchmark should have come with even more caveats. Edge is the most battery efficient browser†!
† for playing fullscreen video††
†† Battery test not valid if the page doesn't use the exact layout youtube used in December 2017. Also not valid if testing vimeo, or twitch, or any porn site, or...
And while I agree that video overlays are common, I also think it's reasonable for such overlays to revert to a slightly less efficient path.
In my own web development activities I can point to hundreds upon hundreds of hidden, invisible, and obscured DOM elements that have no obvious reason to for existing to someone outside the code-base where you find the commen explaining the required work around, browser hack, or legacy constraint. I've also experienced wildly divergent performance on MS browsers compared to others when creating content, often from something as trivial as DOM order or composition.
Clearly Google owes me some money for my part in their ongoing conspiracy to hurt Edge. I'm flexible, I'll accept GCE credit :)
Hey, there's a new div in the DOM, the only possible reason for a change like that is so Chrome can advertise about beating Edge on a benchmark nobody cares about? Even though they never beat Edge on it and this "advertising" never took place?
This was the credulity I was talking about. These events didn't happen (you literally wrote the stories plural! about edge winning the benchmark) and the motivations make no sense. I'm not sure why you'd repeat it without even a warning that it may just be a narrative made up from grumblings about fixing a fast path heard third hand.
I do care about video playback battery performance.
So much so, in fact, that I bought my current laptop specifically so it would last long when watching videos.
Also note that tablets, smartphones, the Macbook Air and the Surface are sold on their battery stamina, and specifically while watching videos. And how would you measure that? Youtube, of course!
Makes total sense, but if you're over-fitting for Youtube's exact layout in 2016, you're eventually going to have to update your optimizations. Sites don't stay the same forever.
Also, what can explain Edge failing to load Azure dashboard - was that a Google bug too? Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zMbfvEHlTU
Sure, and they did. And then next month it’ll be something else, and a new check. The next month it’ll be something else yet again, and yet another check. Pretty soon Microsoft’s codebase is littered with checks and guards against the random things Google does, and they’ll still always be a deploy behind. Google could keep this up for years.
Google of today is a collection of disjointed silos which don't work well together or they work together at all. The leadership of those silos is being aggressively staffed by "industry veterans" VPs and SVPs from Oracle, HP, Motorola and alikes. These folks build their little empires, not products. NIH spreads, internal "competition" starts, etc. This story should sound familiar to more experienced people from Microsoft... they've seen this development phase, they know what I am talking about... Microsoft's name for that was "IBM", Google simply calls that "Microsoft". And when you hear "We are not THAT yet" and people have need to say it, you probably turned into THAT.
Anyway, The idea of Chrome being so aligned with Youtube - over such minor gains over Edge - would today be just a wishful thinking. Until some major, major restructuring and changes to their recent corp "culture", Google will simply remain incapable of driving waaaaay more important product development changes across its product surfaces than this.
Given how easy it is to delete an offending div using the dev tools, it would be easily verified by web developers. There'd be a thousand blog posts and news stories saying "Google deliberately sabotages Edge on YouTube" and the public blowback would be pretty damaging I imagine.
As an aside- his points on why Chrome is a monoculture misses the point. Chrome is a monoculture for the same reason almost every other thing becomes at monoculture. It was, at one point, deserving of it as a product. Whether it was naturally the only one or the best. But now, they might not be the best out there. And when they go on to create barriers to competitors and lock-in, thereby making them artificially dominant, that is an anti trust case in the making, if the U.S. Justice Department had any teeth in that area.
It doesn't confirm Google's reasoning for the div
Because it's EVIL!
Also, have you tried opening Google.com, GMail, YouTube or Translate in Edge? You are bombarded with prompts to install Chrome. There is no way to disable them, not even when logged in.
Nothing is going to make me feel bad for Microsoft losing market share. This is the company that silently disabled microphone access for Chrome because it wasn't installed via the Microsoft store. I spent a month trying to figure out why my microphone suddenly wasn't working in any of my web apps. As much as I dislike what Google is doing, Microsoft has been doing far worse for much longer.
What's to stop "YouTube needs Genuine Chrome™ with Google Play® Support Services Installed"?
They could throw up a check and have "Youtube requires Chrome XX.X with the Evil-DRM plugin enabled" live whenever they want. It's the relevant market forces and ecosystem.
I worked on IE in the days when there were many crazy conspiracy theories about silverlight and IE collaborating to ruin the open web. This sounds similar.
Correlation does not imply causation: Yes, it might be true that companies make changes to their products that break stuff somewhere else. But to claim that it is done intentionally is very far fetched. Especially when you have to support so many different environments, it is close to impossible to thoroughly check all of them. Demanding that the performance is good even goes one step further than just demanding the service works.
- embrace and extend standards
- secret apis
- advocate for standards, then drop them for proprietary ones
- perform hidden changes that make competitors look bad
- then tout your advantages loudly
The only thing missing is outright paying people to not support your competitors.
Firefox, however, I feel bad for. Nerd advocacy was partially responsible for Chrome's rise to popularity, but the time has come to advocate for Firefox.
Seems counterproductive to me.
So, color me astonished, not.
The biggest feature difference for SharePoint cross-browser has historically been with the ActiveX controls. Say you had Word installed, there was a control to open documents with Word. As in, you could click save/view/edit rather than just whatever the browser default was. Or with Skype, to see a user's available/busy/away status next to their name on a SharePoint page. So if you're looking at a wiki or calendar for something, you might go "oh, the author is free, I can just ask." Chrome's plug-in model was much stricter than ActiveX. That's why you'd see some features in IE but not Chrome.
How is this productive?