Ah, here is the key in the article:
"Notably, the study did not look at the web services provided by each of the companies, which also included Google, Apple, Brave, Mozilla. The focus was on the browsers themselves, rather than the ecosystem as a whole, which shows only one important part of the puzzle."
That explains it. Is Brave even 'Major'?
They have better competitive intelligence capability than any other company. Microsoft knows the org chart of millions of companies better than they do, knows who talks to who both in email and voice in some orgs, and knows where people work and where they move at work.
The telemetry sent up for Windows and Office is pretty comprehensive and invasive as well.
I wonder what they do with it. I see no evidence of improved product quality.
facebook as well, to a slightly lesser extent. microsoft is trying to compete on that front (poorly) and should also be called out.
it's not an either-or proposition, but an all-of-the-above one.
Also, Microsoft has a much worse historical record than Google regarding protecting their users. For instance, at a time when Microsoft was happyly complying to every rules required to be allowed to do business in China, Google decided to not comply and close its offices in that country, all in the name of privacy.
So yes, bashing Google in the comment section of an article about Microsoft Edge misbehavior certainly sounds like the whims of fashion, if not of organised business propaganda.
edit: beating Android keyboard to oblivion
Microsoft wants you to use their spreadsheet software.
Google is a significant gatekeeper to information which influences what we know and the opinions we form. And that information is increasingly first party, e.g. YouTube, the Play Store.
Google is mostly about the consumer.
Between Linked-In and O365, they have the ability to target their B2B marketing or facilitate surveillance more than any other organization on the planet. Google knows all sorts of things about me, but Microsoft knows who the government official handling a critical matter is, knows who their secretary is, and knows who the lobbyists, applications or service providers.
Google may be evil, but Microsoft isn't some white knight. They are hard competitors well placed to unseat traditional enterprise players.
... and windows OS, visual studio, sql server, azure, linkedin, github, bing, skype, etc which all collects data on you. Also, I love that you dismissed their office suite as just "spreadsheet software". It's only the world's ubiquitous office suite used everywhere in the world.
The glib terseness of the comment is a metaphor for the relative harmlessness of the business model. Not indicative of the actual product selection or annual revenue.
I think, anyway...?
It’s not so much that Microsoft or Apple’s business model is harmless—I certainly wouldn’t describe them that way—but their business models and their forms of influence are comprehended by most people.
And the idea behind my comment was : They also want to sell you. Bing, linkedin, github, etc aren't selling you software. Also, windows OS has ads now.
> Because Apple sells you hardware, and Google sells You.
Apple also sells you. They sell you to music, movie, etc industry in order for the industry to support apple's platform.
> The glib terseness of the comment is a metaphor for the relative harmlessness of the business model.
Which I showed was wrong.
It's insane the amount of microsoft and apple support on a tech platform. I guess all the money that microsoft/gates spent on PR truly worked.
> I think, anyway...?
I don't think you thought things through too well... Your argument was basically google sells chromebook/hardware so everything else they do is fine.
By that logic, a shopping mall “sells you” to retail stores. A cinema “sells you” to movie studios. Etc.
Apple is worse than AMC or shopping malls since they have much more identifiable data on you ( even more than google in many respects ) and use that to sell you. Not just your data but recommendations/etc.
Apple sells you in the same way google/facebook/microsoft/etc sells you. Collectively and individually.
In the past shopping malls and cinemas used to sell you collectively to retail stores and movie studios. Now many of them can sell you individually to retail stores and movie studios. Something really has gone wrong when there is support for Apple on a tech forum. Usually apple just preys upon non-tech people who like overpriced shiny things. It's strange the amount of "support" apple and microsoft gets nowadays.
Thanks for that.
Google literally forces you into ad transactions. Their entire business model is based around coercing users into giving up their attention to businesses without your consent. This includes critical services such as youtube premium which is $15(!) to just remove the fucking ads. They don’t even offer this for their other services. So no, I can trust google as far as I can throw them.
and they will make even more money by spying on users and selling that data. EvilCorp is not known for leaving money on the table. Google chooses to give away their products to lure people into using them. M$ has the luxury of having the users pay money for their products while also giving up the same data.
They do a lot with it froma security perspective but I reckon they have plenty other uses for it as well.
One good example is Skype which they bought two years after rumors surfaced  that the NSA offered billions for solutions that can wiretap Skype calls. After they've bought it, they removed end to end encryption as well as the peer to peer system, sending all content over Microsoft servers.
It's a bit better if it's "only" shared with the US intelligence community instead of anyone who names a price for it, but obviously still not really good for privacy.
I doubt Virnetx’s patent is particularly strong.
The four patents in question:
Sadly though, that decision by the PTO was partially reversed by the courts:
But scale is a different (easier?) problem/risk than patent troll.
Market share is irrelevant, the incentive is there.
I have a licensed Windows 10 at home installed from scratch, ISO downloaded from Microsoft. Before configuring it, yes, it had ads in it.
I guess that's technically an ad, but my goodness it that the least intrusive ad I've ever seen. Wish all ads were like that.
According to the article:
> Edge also sends the hardware UUID of the device to Microsoft and Yandex similarly transmits a hashed hardware identifier to back end servers.“
But Chrome also sends Chrome installation ID in X-Client-Data , which looks pretty much like hardware UUID.
Microsoft Edge removed encrypted sync. This sync data can include all of your browser history, which is arguably a much more serious privacy violation.
Chrome allows you to set a separate encryption passphrase for syncing your preferences & history to Google's servers. Edge does not allow this.
First it says, Firefox tags with identifiers, then it says, Mozilla [Firefox] doesn’t have identifiers at all. What explains this apparent contradiction?
Clearly, the article needed editorial proof reading in a few spots.
The comments are pretty tied to the claims of the current article at this point.
Apparently this hardware identifier is used to be able to comply with gdpr data deletion requests.
Microsoft's biggest businesses are;
* Software licensing fees (Windows/Office/etc)
* Gaming stuff (XBox, etc)
None of these benefit from having tons of data on their customers. Some of them might even lose sales because of it (do enterprises want their data sucked up into the cloud when using Office or Windows).
Bing Ads make up such a small amount of Microsoft's income that they're pretty much irrelevant.
It seems to me that the rational thing would be to take the Apple approach. Use privacy as a feature that Google can't copy. Take advantage of the fact that one of their biggest competitors is mostly funded by targeted advertising and go where they cannot.
Since Microsoft is not doing that, and they're not stupid I must assume that I am missing something.
Reddit user CobraCabana wrote:
> This article isn’t about the telemetry data it’s about the identifiers.
> Edge sends over a unique identifier for the hardware
> Chrome and safari send one based on installation instance. Chrome persists the identifier safari doesn’t
> Firefox doesn’t send any identifier.
Also, how are the virtualized tabs tracked?
I'm surprised, I really am
That said, I noticed the strange behavior around this article as well. I've seen it pop up multiple times in various content aggregators, and the /r/technology mods even removed the post that I happened to notice and comment in.
I'm not sure why, it seemed like a completely reasonable article on its face. But maybe there's something underhanded going on behind the scenes?
Regarding the second point: And I think we agree here, the article is odd. It definitely seems like there's an anti-Edge narrative trying to achieve mindshare.
I should have decoupled my original comment, and only discussed the circulation of the article, as that's more concerning.
I think chrome is a good browser as long as your careful about which settings you toggle and you can live with the vendor having a mild incentive for adding new settings with bad (from a privacy pov) defaults. In return, you arguably get the most secure browser.